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New Pluto images reveal a crazy variety of surface features!

New Horizons began its yearlong download of new images and other data over the weekend. Close-up images downlinked in the past few days have more than doubled the amount of Pluto’s surface seen at resolutions as good as 400 meters (440 yards) per pixel. They reveal new features as diverse as possible dunes, nitrogen ice flows, and even networks of valleys that may have been carved by material flowing over Pluto’s surface. They also show large regions that display chaotically jumbled mountains.

Discoveries being made from the new imagery are not limited to Pluto’s surface. Better images of Pluto’s moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra will be released Friday (Sept. 11) at the raw images site for New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), revealing that each moon is unique and that big moon Charon’s geological past was a tortured one. read more here

Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute