Astronomy Picture of the Day
September 14, 2015

Sputnik Planum
Sputnik Planum

Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute and Dr Paolo C. Fienga/LXTT/IPF for the additional process. and color.

This Synthetic Perspective view of Pluto, based on the latest High-Resolution images to be downlinked from the NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft, shows us what you would see if you were approximately 1100 miles (such as about 1770,284 Km) above Pluto's Equatorial Area, looking North/East - over the dark/orangish and heavily cratered Region informally named Cthulhu Regio - toward the bright, smooth, expanse of Icy Plains which have, for now, been informally called Sputnik Planum.

The entire expanse of Terrain seen in this image is roughly 1100 miles (such as about 1770,284 Km ) across. The images were taken as the NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, from a distance of about 50.000 miles (such as approx. 80.467 Km).

The image (which is an Original NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft's b/w and NON Map-Projected frame published on the NASA - Planetary Photojournal with the ID n. PIA 19937) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced and sharpened, Gamma corrected and then colorized (according to an educated guess carried out by Dr Paolo C. Fienga-LXTT-IPF) in Absolute Natural Colors (such as the colors that a normal human eye would actually perceive if someone were onboard the NASA - New Horizons Spacecraft and then looked ahead, towards the Dwarf-Planet Pluto), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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