This is the best view of Pluto most of us will see in our lifetime

Pluto's surface seen in NASA mosaic
Pluto's surface seen in NASA mosaic

A new mosaic pieced together by NASA scientists and captured by the New Horizons spacecraft shows off the most detailed view of Pluto many of us will ever see.

The high-resolution mosaic shows a huge swath of Pluto as imaged by New Horizons when it flew close by the dwarf planet in July 2015.

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NASA had previously released many of the detailed photos that make up the mosaic, but this is the first time all of the images have been strung together.

"This new image product is just magnetic," Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, said in a statement.

"It makes me want to go back on another mission to Pluto and get high-resolution images like these across the entire surface."

The photos that make up the mosaic actually stretch almost all the way from one end of Pluto to the other.

The strip of photos has a width ranging from 55 miles to 45 miles, according to NASA.

"The perspective changes greatly along the strip: at its northern end, the view looks out horizontally across the surface, while at its southern end, the view looks straight down onto the surface," NASA said in the statement.

The string of images — showcased beautifully in a new NASA video — brings Pluto's flat plains filled with nitrogen ice to life.


Some blocks of more buoyant water-ice appear to float in the nitrogen ice in Pluto's heart-shaped region.



Some of Pluto's craggy mountains — which are made of water-ice — are as tall as the Rockies on Earth.

New Horizons was about 9,850 miles from Pluto when it took these images on July 14.


The spacecraft is now on its way deeper into the far reaches of the solar system to fly by another object in Pluto's part of space in 2019.

Explore the entire mosaic directly through NASA's big and beautiful image of Pluto.

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