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New Horizons' best look at Pluto before close approach


New Horizons stunning Pluto pic imgur

<<This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 766,000 kilometers from the surface.>>

Source: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lak...

Stashed in: NASA, Space!, Doodles, Astronomy Photos, Pluto

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Looks like a planet to me.

image-55a52866d1abb-dhPg.png

Pans or planets?

image-55a528c51eabb-uaIc.jpeg

It goes to show how much our eyes can be deceived. 

So Oce what did we learn today?

I don't know what you learned Adam, I'm sadly not living with you.

As for me, that an heart can be broken in two pieces and some bunkai on the beginning of Chinte.

I meant about Pluto. What did you learn about Pluto today? I want to learn from you!

About Pluto or about me? : D

So I pretty much learnt what's in the article I have mustashed:

<<Wow, the surface is diverse. I see so many different kinds of terrain. The "heart" has broken up into two distinctly differet surfaces, a very smooth one in the west and a patchier one in the east. The dark stuff at the equator is very familiar; it looks just like Iapetus. But the bumpy terrain on the eastern edge is not familiar at all. I can't think of an analog for it.

I do see impact craters. To the left of the heart, in the dark area especially, there are several circular features that are pretty clearly impact craters. There are lots of other circular features visible, but I think it's less obvious that they are craters; it'll take a closer look to determine that. Topography will help. Tomorrow we will get another photo that is very similar to this one, but taken at a slightly different angle, which will give us 3D information to help see whether the circular features have crater shapes.

On the left side, I see some linear features, but they're too small for their nature to be really clear.

The pole is distinctly redder than the terrain around the pole. That's interesting. I wonder if it's the same phenomenon that's darkening Charon's pole.

On the left, I see some hints of the "mushroom terrain" that Voyager saw on Triton.>>

Excellent. 

Impact craters mean it has been hit by other things?

I also learned the spacecraft survived the encounter:

http://pandawhale.com/post/65307/new-horizons-spacecraft-survives-pluto-encounter

Sweet Google Doodle!

Google Doodle Pluto Flyby NASA New Horizons Imgur

(Pluto has a heart!)

Today's Doodle was created by Kevin Laughlin in honor of New Horizons' intrepid voyage to Pluto's distant corner of the solar system," Google representatives wrote in a statement. "Celebrate this scientific breakthrough on NASA's New Horizons YouTube page, where you'll find videos detailing the extraordinary discoveries the space probe uncovers."

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