Friday, September 25, 2015

Competency+


The competency of NASA never ceases to amaze, particularly regarding New Horizons
and it's rendezvous with Pluto. Astounding to say the least.

The newest high-resolution images of Pluto from NASA’s New Horizons are both dazzling and mystifying, revealing a multitude of previously unseen topographic and compositional details.

One image, showing an area on Pluto’s best-mapped hemisphere near the line that separates day from night, captures a vast rippling landscape of strange, aligned linear ridges that has astonished New Horizons team members.

“It’s a unique and perplexing landscape stretching over hundreds of miles,” says William McKinnon, a New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team deputy lead from Washington University in St. Louis. “It looks more like tree bark or dragon scales than geology. This’ll really take time to figure out; maybe it’s some combination of internal tectonic forces and ice sublimation driven by Pluto’s faint sunlight.”

The “snakeskin” image of Pluto’s surface is just one tantalizing piece of data New Horizons sent back in recent days. The spacecraft also captured the highest-resolution color view yet of Pluto – along with detailed spectral maps and other high-resolution images.

The new “extended color” view of Pluto – taken by New Horizons’ wide-angle Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC) on July 14 and downlinked to Earth on Sept. 19 – shows the extraordinarily rich color palette of Pluto.

Seen below is the snakeskin image of Planet Pluto. :)


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