Astronomers have produced three-dimensional maps of Pluto

Astronomers have produced three-dimensional maps of Pluto

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The cards gave the scientists some interesting surprises.

The participants of the New Horizons mission has produced the first fully three-dimensional maps of Pluto and its satellite Charon, which you can see realistic images of mountain ridges, valleys and other features of the terrain. Their descriptions and the fragments were presented in the journal Icarus.

This writes with reference to .

“The relief of the part of Pluto that we have been able to learn during the span of the probe, is really amazing. I look forward to the time when we send an orbital probe to this planet and get a really complete map of its surface,” notes Alan stern, head of the New Horizons mission.

In mid-July 2015, he arrived in the Pluto system, flying just 13 thousand kilometers from the dwarf planet and received a lot of detailed pictures of its surface and its moons. These pictures show humanity for the first time saw the famous “heart” of Pluto, the plain Companion, and traces a kind of icy rivers, volcanoes and exotic “dunes” of sand methane.

These images and data forever changed our ideas about Pluto — it was extremely complex and “alive” world, whose surface is constantly being updated and changing, and it is not a lifeless piece of ice on the edge of the Solar system, as scientists previously believed.

The next two years, as noted by stern, his team have been constantly analyzing and “glue” the pictures that got the two main “eyes” of New Horizons, a black-and-white camera and the color it RALPH “cousin” MVIC. Using the pictures, scientists tried to obtain three-dimensional images of the surface of Pluto and use them to calculate the position of the different features of its topography.

First, a “flat” version of this map was published on the NASA website in the past year, however, its complete version, taking into account all the topographic features of the planet, had been prepared just now. In addition, scientists are “collected” map of Charon, the largest satellite of Pluto, which also can be considered a large and wonderful objects.

Both of these cards gave the scientists some interesting surprises, the existence of which they initially did not know. For example, it was found that the region tombo, “the heart of Pluto”, is a giant dent on the planet’s surface, whose depth ranges from 1.5 kilometers to the “high” areas and up to 3.5 kilometers in the deepest nooks, located on the outskirts of the “heart”.

Neighboring mountains Tenzing was the highest point of Pluto — they rise about 6 miles above “sea level”, which is comparable to the height of mount Elbrus, Kilimanjaro and many other peaks-the”Champions” of the Earth. Such a large height of these mountains, as noted by stern and colleagues, suggests that they are almost entirely composed of “hard” water, not soft nitrogen or hydrocarbon ice.Charon was even more “contrasting” world of the dark gaps on the surface of “Mordor” at its North pole reaches a depth of 8,700 feet, allowing them to easily compete with the Mariana trench on Earth. Simultaneously, on the equator there are mountain ranges with a height of eight kilometers, and giant cracks of comparable depth.


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