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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

A closer look at Pluto's majestic mountains and frozen plains

Filed under New Horizons, pretty pictures, Pluto, best of

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A closer look at Pluto's majestic mountains and frozen plains Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. The smooth expanse of the informally named Sputnik Planum (right) is flanked to the west (left) by rugged mountains up to 3,500 meters high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. The backlighting highlights more than a dozen layers of haze in Pluto’s tenuous but distended atmosphere. The image was taken from a distance of 18,000 kilometers to Pluto; the scene is 380 kilometers across.

NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI

Original image data dated on or about July 14, 2015.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

 

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