NASA is bringing you even more closer to planet pluto, this time with a photograph that reveals the dwarf planet’s heart-shaped region called Tombaugh Regio – NASA of course, is not a stranger when it come to parading such images..
During New Horizons’ closest flyby in July, the probe’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) zoomed in on the area and took photos within 9,550 miles of its surface. The stunning images of Pluto’s ‘heart of darkness’ were unveiled alongside two breathtaking animations showing flyovers of the plains and mountains of the frozen world.
‘I’m a little biased, but I think the solar system saved the best for last,’ New Horizons’ principle investigator, Alan Stern, said during the unveiling.
As you can see, Pluto’s heart is scarred with pits, which New Horizons’ scientists believe may have formed due to “a combination of ice fracturing and evaporation.” These pits seem to follow a pattern, and the team believes it could provide clues on the planet’s ice flow and the exchange of nitrogen between its surface and atmosphere. Whatever secrets the region reveals, this is now how I’ll imagine a scarred heart looks after a number of heartbreaks from now on.
[Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI]