This may be the best view of Pluto we ever see

Image: Pluto surface
Craters and linear features are scattered across Pluto’s terrain in this high-resolution view from NASA’s New Horizons probe. (Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)

Almost a year after NASA’s New Horizons probe flew past Pluto, the team behind the mission has put together a long mosaic strip that includes all of the highest-resolution images.

“This new image product is just magnetic,” Alan Stern, a planetary scientist from Southwest Research Institute who serves as New Horizons’ principal investigator, said today in a NASA news release. “It makes me want to go back on another mission to Pluto and get high-resolution images like these across the entire surface.”

The view starts up at the edge of Pluto’s disk and runs hundreds of miles, down to nearly the terminator line between Plutonian day and night. The width of the strip ranges from 45 to 55 miles, depending on the perspective. Peak resolution is about 260 feet per pixel.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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