New Horizons Pluto flyby 2nd anniversary

Pluto. Image Vadim Sadovski  Shutterstock

Pluto. Image Vadim Sadovski Shutterstock

NASA has released videos that take data from the New Horizons probe and render what both Pluto and its largest moon Charon look like. But you can relive the flyby with this new animation from NASA that takes you over Pluto's unique terrain.

Now, the American space agency has released a never-before-seen animation to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the flyby.

This New Horizon flyover Pluto video is focused on the dwarf planet Pluto and featuring the nitrogen icy-plains which is called "Sputnik Planitia" - defines as a high-albedo ice which is covered on Pluto's surface, it is about 1,050 by 800 km (650 by 500 mi) in size, it constitutes the western half of the planet's heart-shaped Tombaugh Region. Visible to the right are blocky mountain ranges inside the plains.

The team behind the mission was "blown away by the incredible diversity of terrain on Pluto and just generally, the collection of phenomena we've observed throughout the Pluto system", project scientist Hal Weaver told CBS News past year. The flyover concludes at Tartarus Dorsa.

A never-before-seen fly-by video of Pluto has been released by NASA using compiled data from the nearly $900m New Horizons mission. After many decades being labeled the ninth planet in our Solar System, scientists reclassified Pluto about ten years ago, officially dubbing it a dwarf planet rather than a full-fledged one.

The digitally rendered videos are color enhanced to highlight certain details, and NASA note the topography is enhanced by a factor of two to three to emphasize the forms of the landscape.

"The complexity of the Pluto system-from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere-has been beyond our wildest imagination", said mission Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).

NASA claims the video offers us "a new perspective" of the planet, given that the imagery allowed for a film that gets closer to the planet's surface than New Horizons ever did.

New Horizons is now venturing deep into the Kuiper Belt, which is a region of icy bodies and dwarf planets like Pluto, according to NASA.

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