The Best Photos Of Pluto Yet

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the clearest images yet of the dwarf planet Pluto revealing its rugged 'badlands' and mountainous shorelines.

Layered Craters and Icy Plains: This image show Pluto’s rugged, icy cratered plains, including layering in the interior walls of many craters.

"Impact craters are nature's drill rigs, and the new, highest-resolution pictures of the bigger craters seem to show that Pluto's icy crust, at least in places, is distinctly layered,” said William McKinnon, deputy lead of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team, from Washington University in St. Louis. "Looking into Pluto’s depths is looking back into geologic time, which will help us piece together Pluto's geological history.”

Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

The Mountainous Shoreline of Sputnik Planum: This image shows the great blocks of Pluto’s water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains. 

"The mountains bordering Sputnik Planum are absolutely stunning at this resolution," said New Horizons science team member John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute. "The new details revealed here, particularly the crumpled ridges in the rubbly material surrounding several of the mountains, reinforce our earlier impression that the mountains are huge ice blocks that have been jostled and tumbled and somehow transported to their present locations."

Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Pluto’s ‘Badlands’: This highest-resolution image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft shows how erosion and faulting have sculpted this portion of Pluto’s icy crust into rugged badlands topography.

Look at the sharpest images to date of Pluto that NASA's New Horizons spacecraft obtained during its flyby on July 14, 2015. The pictures are part of a sequence taken near New Horizons’ closest approach to Pluto. 

Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

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