Space

New Pluto image showcases intricate pit pattern

New Pluto image showcases intr...
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft continues to relay ever-more detailed images of its July 24 flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft continues to relay ever-more detailed images of its July 24 flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto
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NASA's New Horizons spacecraft continues to relay ever-more detailed images of its July 24 flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto
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NASA's New Horizons spacecraft continues to relay ever-more detailed images of its July 24 flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto
Two ringed structures, which may represent impact craters, are visible in the bottom right and left of the image
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Two ringed structures, which may represent impact craters, are visible in the bottom right and left of the image

NASA's New Horizon's spacecraft has returned the most detailed view ever of a region of the dwarf planet Pluto, which is covered in an intricate pattern of pits. The image was taken on July 14th by the spacecraft's Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) from less than 9,550 miles (15,400 km) above the planet's surface.

The newly-releasedimage spans roughly 50 miles (80 km) across, featuring an area informally known as Tombaugh Regio. It's a region which, based on therelative sparsity of impact sites, is believed to be extremely youngin geological terms. Each of the pits featured in the image, whichwas taken a mere 13 minutes prior to the spacecraft's closestapproach, is believed to span hundreds of yards across.

Two ringed structures, which may represent impact craters, are visible in the bottom right and left of the image
Two ringed structures, which may represent impact craters, are visible in the bottom right and left of the image

The distinctive pitsthat permeate the region are believed to have been formed through acombination of ice fracturing and evaporation. Moving forward, the NewHorizons science team is hoping to analyze the alignment of the pitsin order to glean insights into the ice flow mechanics and thetransfer of volatile materials between the planet's surface and itstenuous atmosphere.

New Horizons iscurrently speeding its way towards its next potential scientifictarget, a planetoid in the Kuiper Belt known as 2014 MU69.

Source: NASA

3 comments
gizmowiz
Those pits were created by space invaders using the planet for target practice. Earth is next.......
Ralf Biernacki
These look remarkably like Mi-go huddling pits.