nasa, Charon, Pluto, moon, dwarf planet,
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution enhanced colour view of Pluto's big moon Charon just before closest approach on July 14, 2015.NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft transmitted the images of the dwarf planet Pluto and its moons in 2015.

Here's all you need to know about New Horizons' flyby:

1. The spacecraft collected images of the Pluto system and covered its icy terrain and its moons.

 

Check out New Horizons Flyover of Pluto:

YouTube/ NASA.gov Video

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2. The astronomers used the data collected by the New Horizons spacecraft and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, which were transmitted to Earth in the July of 2015, to create flyover movies that provided amazing new perspectives about the unique features which were discovered. These findings by the researchers changed the views about the Pluto system.

nasa, Charon, Pluto, moon, dwarf planet,
This area is south of Pluto's dark equatorial band informally named Cthulhu Regio, and southwest of the vast nitrogen ice plains informally named Sputnik Planitia.NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

3. This flyover covered the highlands to the southwest of the great expanse of nitrogen ice-covered plain informally called Sputnik Planitia. The western margin of the Sputnik was first analysed by the viewer where it borders the dark, cratered terrain of Cthulhu Macula – comprising of blocky mountain ranges present within the plain.

nasa, Charon, Pluto, moon, dwarf planet,
Annotated map of Sputnik Planitia on Pluto.Wikipedia/ Geological mapping of Sputnik Planitia on Pluto, Icarus

4. The spacecraft moved towards the north through the rough and fractured terrain of Voyager Terra and then goes over Pioneer Terra, that consists of deep and broad pits, before concluding over the bladed terrain of Tartarus Dorsa in the far east of the encounter hemisphere.

nasa, Charon moon, Pluto, space,
This image contains the initial, informal names being used by the New Horizons team for the features on Pluto's largest moon, Charon.JPL/NASA

5. The New Horizons made its closest approach to Charon during the flight. It then took a dive over the canyon of Serenity Chasma, which is deep, wide.

nasa, Charon, Pluto, moon, dwarf planet,
Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission have spotted signs of long run-out landslides on Pluto's largest moon, Charon.NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

6. After which the view moves north, passing over Dorothy Gale crater and the dark polar hood of Mordor Macula. The flight then turns south, covering the northern terrain of Oz Terra before ending over the relatively flat equatorial plains of Vulcan Planum and the "moated mountains" of Clarke Montes.

nasa, Charon, Pluto, moon, dwarf planet,
This composite of enhanced color images of Pluto (lower right) and Charon (upper left), was taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it passed through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015.NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

7. The topographic relief is exaggerated by a factor of two to three times in these movies to highlight topography and the colours of Pluto's and Charon's surface also have been enhanced to make it more detailed.

 Check out New Horizons Flyover of Charon here:

YouTube/NASA.gov Video
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