Zee Media Bureau
New Horizons, the spacecraft which whizzed past Pluto in its historic July 14 encounter, has divulged a series of new details about the icy planet. Using science instruments on board, the probe has continued to snap close-op images and gather science data, giving scientists profound understanding into the planet’s terrain and its moons.
Here are five discoveries of the multiple discoveries NASA’s probe made as it dashed past Pluto:
Pluto’s exact size
New Horizons probe has answered one of the most basic questions about Pluto - its size. Mission scientists found Pluto to be 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers) in diameter, somewhat larger than many prior estimates.
Click to read about it here: New Horizons mission reveals size of dwarf planet
NASA presented us a stunning, yet full view of Pluto’s crescent taken by the Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) onboard New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July this year.
Read more on this story here: NASA's New Horizons returns full view of Pluto's stunning crescent
Four months after Pluto flyby, the probe revealed more than 50 exciting discoveries about Pluto - from possible ice volcanoes to twirling moons.
Click to read more about New Horizons’ discoveries here: Twirling moons and ice volcanoes: NASA's New Horizons reveals surprising discoveries on Pluto!
Blue skies and water ice on Pluto
Following its flyby of Pluto, New Horizons revealed some fascinating facts about the dwarf planet’s atmospheric hazes. It shows that the icy world has blue skies and exposed, bright red water ice on it.
Read to know more about Pluto’s atmospheric hazes here: Revealed: NASA's New Horizons finds blue skies, water ice on Pluto
Just prior to encounter with the icy planet, the piano-sized NASA spacecraft also discovered a near-perfect heart shape on Pluto's rusty red surface.
Read full story here: NASA craft discovers heart shape on Pluto as flyby nears
NASA also released the best colour and highest resolution images of Pluto`s largest moon, Charon. The stunning Charon images from New Horizons show that it is covered with mountains, canyons, landslides and other geographical markers.
Read more about it here: Watch: NASA releases best images of Pluto's largest moon, Charon
New Horizons also revealed that Charon, which is more than half the size of Pluto, has youthful terrain & dark area nicknamed 'Mordor' in north.
Read more about Pluto's largest moon Charon here: NASA probe reveals fresh details of Pluto's largest moon Charon
Also Read: See pic: A day on Pluto and its moon Charon
First look at Pluto small moons - Nix and Hydra
Earlier this year in February, New Horizons spacecraft spotted small moons Nix and Hydra orbiting Pluto.
To read full story, click here: NASA probe spots small moons orbiting Pluto
It also located Pluto's smallest moon 'Styx', revealing the shape and size of the faintest of dwarf planet’s five moons.
Click to read full story here: NASA's New Horizons locates Pluto's smallest moon Styx
In October, the spacecraft returned some splendid images of Pluto’s tiny moon Kerberos, completing the family portrait of the icy dwarf planet's moons. Click to know more about Pluto’s tiny moon here: New Horizons sends images of Pluto's tiny moon Kerberos