Latest Data from New Horizon


          The Icy Mountains of Pluto

Peering closely at the “heart of Pluto,” in the western half of what mission scientists have informally named Tombaugh Regio  (Tombaugh Region), New Horizons’ Ralph instrument revealed evidence of carbon monoxide ice.  The contours indicate that the concentration of frozen carbon monoxide increases towards the center of the “bull’s eye.” These data were acquired by the spacecraft on July 14 and transmitted to Earth on July 16. 
Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

         The Icy Mountains of Pluto

New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a giant surprise: a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body.
The mountains likely formed no more than 100 million years ago -- mere youngsters relative to the 4.56-billion-year age of the solar system -- and may still be in the process of building, says Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team leader Jeff Moore of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.. That suggests the close-up region, which covers less than one percent of Pluto’s surface, may still be geologically active today.

New Horizons Close-Up of Charon’s ‘Mountain in a Moat’


This new image of an area on Pluto's largest moon Charon has a captivating feature—a depression with a peak in the middle, shown here in the upper left corner of the inset.
The image shows an area approximately 240 miles (390 kilometers) from top to bottom, including few visible craters. “The most intriguing feature is a large mountain sitting in a moat,” said Jeff Moore with NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California, who leads New Horizons’ Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team. “This is a feature that has geologists stunned and stumped.

Recent Measurements of Pluto and Charon Obtained by New Horizons


This graphic presents a view of Pluto and Charon as they would appear if placed slightly above Earth's surface and viewed from a great distance.  Recent measurements obtained by New Horizons indicate that Pluto has a diameter of 2370 km, 18.5% that of Earth's, while Charon has a diameter of 1208 km, 9.5% that of Earth's.


     Pluto: The Ice Plot Thickens



The latest spectra from New Horizons Ralph instrument reveal an abundance of methane ice, but with striking differences from place to place across the frozen surface of Pluto.
“We just learned that in the north polar cap, methane ice is diluted in a thick, transparent slab of nitrogen ice resulting in strong absorption of infrared light,” said New Horizons co-investigator Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona.  In one of the visually dark equatorial patches, the methane ice has shallower infrared absorptions indicative of a very different texture.  “The spectrum appears as if the ice is less diluted in nitrogen,” Grundy speculated “or that it has a different texture in that area.” 

NASA’s New Horizons Discovers Frozen Plains in the Heart of Pluto’s ‘Heart’



In the center left of Pluto’s vast heart-shaped feature – informally named “Tombaugh Regio” - lies a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains and has been informally named Sputnik Planum (Sputnik Plain), after Earth’s first artificial satellite. The surface appears to be divided into irregularly-shaped segments that are ringed by narrow troughs. Features that appear to be groups of mounds and fields of small pits are also visible. This image was acquired by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 14 from a distance of 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers). Features as small as one-half mile (1 kilometer) across are visible. The blocky appearance of some features is due to compression of the image.
Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI


The latest two full-frame images of Pluto and Charon were collected separately by New Horizons during approach on July 13 and July 14, 2015. The relative reflectivity, size, separation, and orientations of Pluto and Charon are approximated in this composite image, and they are shown in approximate true color.
Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI


Previous
Next Post »

Please Leave ur Valuable comments Here ConversionConversion EmoticonEmoticon

Facebook

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...

Our Partners

Our Partners