NASA's spectacular flyover video transports you to Pluto


New Horizons has moved on from Pluto and is now flying deeper into the Kuiper Belt, a vast area filled with icy bodies out beyond Neptune's orbit.

Pluto, including a heart-shaped region on its surface, is pictured in this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015, when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface.

Some of the features shown on the map are the icy plains of Pluto's Sputnik Planitia and the ridges of Tartarus Dorsa.

This video offers a thrilling experience of the Dorothy Gale crater before concluding at the "moated mountains" of Clarke Montes.

NASA's New Horizons account tweeted the video on July 14, 2017, noting in a series of tweets that it's the two year anniversary of New Horizons historic flyby of Pluto.

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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.

Among other things, New Horizons took pictures of Pluto's mountains and plains, capturing the dwarf planet's "heart", which according to Nasa, is "about the same distance as from Denver to Chicago".

"The complexity of the Pluto system-from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere-has been beyond our wildest imagination", said mission Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). "Fortunately, now we know how to do that and what new instruments to bring to bear".

The spacecraft is now 5.7 billion km from Earth, venturing deeper into the distant, mysterious Kuiper Belt to reach its next target. Now that it has accomplished that part of its mission, it is currently en route to analyze a Kuiper Belt object, 2014 MU69, and is expected to arrive at its next destination on January 1, 2019. It has been monitored since 1830. Recently, the Great Red Spot has been observed to be shrinking.