NASA released a new animation of a flyover of Pluto on Saturday (September 19) that was created from a mosaic of hundreds of pictures taken by the New Horizons spacecraft as it observed Pluto in mid-July.
Stuart Robbins, a research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said on NASA’s website he made the animation using images of Pluto sent by New Horizons because he likes to figure out “how to make visualizations that convey some of the sheer beauty and power of the features New Horizons is revealing.”
(NASA TV) – Robbins says he primarily uses the New Horizon images to map craters on the surface of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, to get a better understand of the number of impacts the orbital spheres receive from the Kuiper belt.
The latest animation starts with images of the Norgay Montes, jagged mountains scientists informally named after Nepalese mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, who with Sir Edmund Hillary was one of the first climbers to reach Mount Everest.
Scientist say the mountains rise three kilometres from the surrounding surface.
The animation shows the surface from a height of about 200 kilometres, continuing northward over the boundary between the informally named Sputnik Planum and Cthulhu Region before drifting slowly east.