New NASA video shows Pluto as you've never seen it before

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New NASA video shows Pluto as you've never seen it before

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 space agency used data collected by the New Horizons spacecraft during its 2015 flyby of Pluto to create the footage of its rugged mountain ranges and icy plains.

The second flyover sends us to Pluto's largest moon Charon. The zoomed camera shows the planet's icy plains and stunning mountain ranges, revealing its fantastic bladed terrain in further details exhibiting deep and broad pits.

Some of the features shown on the map are the icy plains of Pluto's Sputnik Planitia and the ridges of Tartarus Dorsa. Pluto's largest moon, Charon, is also dotted with craters and overlaid with expansive plains. All the names of Pluto and Charon are informal and pull from science fiction and fantasy sources like "Star Trek" and "Lord of the Rings". Collecting over 50 gigabits of data during the encounter it took more than a year to transmit all the information back to Earth and scientists are still poring through it.

To emphasize both worlds' topography, topographic relief is enhanced two or three times in the videos. But after years of debate, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to the rank of a dwarf planet in 2006, reducing the total number of planets in the solar system to eight.

New Horizons is now venturing deep into the Kuiper Belt, which is a region of icy bodies and dwarf planets like Pluto, according to NASA.

"The complexity of the Pluto system - from its geology to its satellite system to its atmosphere- has been beyond our wildest imagination", Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, said in a statement.

NASA claims the video offers us "a new perspective" of the planet, given that the imagery allowed for a film that gets closer to the planet's surface than New Horizons ever did.

On New Year's Day 2019, New Horizons will zoom past a Kuiper Belt object known as 2014 MU69, NASA said.

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