First Pluto Flyby Pictures Are 'Complicated and Fascinating'
Pluto’s surface looks young, and its large moon Charon offers a few surprises of its own.
LAUREL, Md.NASA has released the first of many images taken during New Horizons' close encounter with dwarf planet Pluto.
And they are, in a word, astounding.
The images include a high-res view of a small patch near Pluto’s equator, in which mountains made of water ice rise 11,000 feet above what appears to be a young, active surface. Charon, Pluto’s largest moon, has also emerged in surprising detail. And then there’s the first image of Hydra, one of the system’s four small moons. Already, these images are challenging views about how small, icy worlds work.
“I think the whole system is amazing,” says New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern. “This system is something wonderful.”
Early on July