Flying Past Pluto

The high resolution data keeps on coming in from New Horizons, now far beyond the dwarf planet Pluto.  Using some of the images as the craft flew by, mission scientists were able to create a fantastic video that gives you some perspective as if you were flying along yourself.

 

We can see Charon and other moons during the early and later stages of the fly-by, with the orbits overlaid, giving perspective on how the Plutonian system’s mechanics work.  As the craft approaches Pluto, time slows down to appreciate the closest approach and see the stunning detail revealed in the images.

As the craft passes beyond Pluto, we are left with a tantalizing view of the ‘dark side,’ wishing we could go back and take a closer look, or stick around a little bit longer.  Sadly, when you have a nine-year mission to Pluto, it has to travel so fast that it couldn’t possibly slow down enough to be captured by Pluto’s gravity.

But with all of the fascinating things we are seeing on Pluto, it’s likely that in the coming decades we will see another mission to the outer solar system, to take a closer look at Pluto and its moons, as well as some of the potentially undiscovered worlds that may be lurking deeper in the icy darkness.

 

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