Pluto is the farthest planet in our solar system (at closest, 4.44 billion kilometers and at farthest, 7.38 billion kilometers from the sun). Scientists have a keen eye on it since it has the answers to what could take us beyond our solar system.
To overcome these brainstorming questions NASA launched a spacecraft named New Horizons in January 2006 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Its first destination was Jupiter in February and March 2007. It covered almost 2.4 billion kilometers of the largest planet and completed its mission at Jupiter in 2003 after which it went on hibernation to conserve energy and lessen the chances of breakouts.
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It emerged from hibernation in December 2014 to get ready for Pluto encounter. By July 2015 the spacecraft approached closest to the planet and its moon Charon and sent its first high definition images back home.
NASA created a video on these data evidences. It compiles over more than a 100 hundred images of the cold planet and its moon taken by the spacecraft that will take you on a trip to its icy cold surface aiming at making you feel like the Neil Armstrong of Pluto.
Let’s first watch this amazing video:
Pretty fascinating right?
The total duration of the whole journey took about 10 years and the results were amazing with both the planets. The hottest showed volcanic fallouts bigger than the State of Texas and swirling streams of charged particles. The coldest showed iced mountain ranges of 3,500 meters and 100 million years old. Recent most data shows that there are strange water ice hills floating in frozen nitrogen on the planet and subsurface ocean on its moon, Charon.
“New Horizons” has not yet completed its mission. Its new aim is to explore all the bodies in Kuiper Belt, an area beyond Neptune containing trillions of objects. Well if NASA could manage more of such space ride videos then it is amazing. I mean, who doesn’t love free rides?!
Don’t forget to share this amazing video with your amazing curious friends 🙂
Featured Image Courtesy: Nasa YouTube Video