Here’s the latest news on space travel. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently released the best close-up photos of Pluto. According to NASA, these photos are the clearest images of the dwarf planet to date.
These were taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft last July 14, News.com.au wrote. The “piano-sized” spacecraft transmitted data and photos that have a 77-85 metres per pixel resolution.
According to the site, the photos showed Pluto’s “array of cratered, mountainous and glacial terrains.” When combined, all images formed a strip that is 80 kilometres (50 miles) wide.
See amazing photos here:
— NASA (@NASA) December 5, 2015
Former astronaut, John Grunsfeld was fascinated by the close-up photos showing the diverse terrain on Pluto. He said that the spacecraft proved the “power of robotic planetary explorers” to give scientists “intriguing data.” He is now the current associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
Likewise, New Horizons principal investigator Allan Stern was also impressed. He was delighted that the spacecraft was able to send the photos immediately.
“Nothing of this quality was available for Venus or Mars until decades after their first flybys; yet at Pluto we’re there already — down among the craters, mountains and ice fields — less than five months after flyby! The science we can do with these images is simply unbelievable,” Stern was quoted saying.
According to CNN, New Horizons will be transferring data and photos until next year. By next week, researchers expect more high resolution photos from the spacecraft.
New Horizon’s journey to Pluto is just one of NASA’s missions to date. Earlier in November, it was reported that NASA is hiring new astronauts for their upcoming space missions.
Interested in unveiling a scientific discovery? If you think you fit the requirements, visit NASA’s website to apply.