New Horizons Update: One Million Miles to Go, Pluto More Intriguing Than Ever

Pluto is More Intriguing Than Ever

Pluto as seen from New Horizons on July 11, 2015. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

As the New Horizons Spacecraft speeds closer to its July 14 flyby of Pluto, it’s continuing to producing images and record data on an icy world that’s growing more fascinating and complex every day.

On July 11, 2015, New Horizons captured this image, which suggests some new features that are of keen interest to the Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team now assembled at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland. For the first time on Pluto, this view reveals linear features that may be cliffs, as well as a circular feature that could be an impact crater. Just starting to rotate into view on the left side of the image is the bright heart-shaped feature that will be seen in more detail during New Horizons’ closest approach.

New Horizons Only 1 Million Miles from Pluto

On July 11, 2015, New Horizons captured a world that is growing more fascinating by the day. For the first time on Pluto, this view reveals linear features that may be cliffs, as well as a circular feature that could be an impact crater. Rotating into view is the bright heart-shaped feature that will be seen in more detail during New Horizons’ closest approach on July 14. The annotated version includes a diagram indicating Pluto’s north pole, equator, and central meridian. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

The New Horizons spacecraft is now approaching a milestone – only one million miles to Pluto – which will occur at 11:23 p.m. EDT tonight, Sunday, July 12. It’s approaching Pluto after a more than nine-year, three-billion mile journey. At 7:49 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 14 the unmanned spacecraft will zip past Pluto at 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour), with a suite of seven science instruments busily gathering data. The mission will complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system with the first-ever look at the icy dwarf planet.

Source: NASA

1 Comment on "New Horizons Update: One Million Miles to Go, Pluto More Intriguing Than Ever"

  1. Is it going to get ANY pics of Charon or the other three moonlets??? It IS a double dwarf planet system! Pluto’s centre of rotation isn’t even within the planetoid! (I think)

Leave a comment

Email address is optional. If provided, your email will not be published or shared.


*