Plutonian sprawl

220117 pluto 1

This new, detailed global mosaic colour map of Pluto is based on a series of three colour filter images obtained by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera aboard New Horizons during the NASA spacecraft’s close flyby of Pluto in July 2015. The mosaic shows how Pluto’s large-scale colour patterns extend beyond the hemisphere facing New Horizons at closest approach, which were imaged at the highest resolution.

North is up; Pluto’s equator roughly bisects the band of dark red terrains running across the lower third of the map. Pluto’s giant, informally named Sputnik Planitia glacier – the left half of Pluto’s signature “heart” feature – is at the centre.

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