If you’re among the countless space science enthusiasts who wondered what the New Horizons spacecraft’s 2015 flyover of Pluto might have looked like, you’re in luck – NASA has released a new video that gives all of us an up-close look at the surface terrain of the dwarf planet.
The footage, which was created using actual images collected by the probe two years ago, along with data and digital elevation models of both Pluto and the largest of its moons, Charon, offers a “spectacular” new look at “the many unusual features” discovered on the planetary-mass object.
Furthermore, New Horizons scientists noted that the flyover movies show the distant world’s icy terrain at a vantage point even closer than that achieved by the spacecraft itself. The video begins in the mountainous region of southwest Pluto and travels over Sputnik Planitia, a vast lowland of nitrogen ice that makes up the western lobe of the heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio.
From there, the flyby footage passes over Sputnik’s western border with Cthulhu Macula, which is a dark, craters region located within the nearby highlands. The tour also passes over the rugged hills of Voyager Terra and the pitted Pioneer Terra before ending over Tartarus ...