NASA just published one of the greatest space pictures ever taken. Sunset over the mountains of Pluto.

NASA just published one of the greatest space pictures ever taken. Sunset over the mountains of Pluto.
A larger version.

And another fantastic landscape of Pluto.

.

And another fantastic landscape of Pluto.

Here's one that I've done ran through raster-based imagery analysis and converted it to 'true' color. Let me know if you want a high-res version.

Here's one that I've done ran through raster-based imagery analysis and Let me know if you want a high-res version.

For perspective, this image was taken 4.67 billion miles away. It would take you almost 8,900 years to drive there at 60 mph.

And in terms of our galaxy, that is microscopically miniscule. Our universe is REALLY big.

because that's exactly what it is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC3VTgIPoGU

We have those here too, here is one flipping:

Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space.

It feels like Pluto is taking a bunch of extreme selfies of itself all made up and doing unexpected things in an attempt to make its ex ND Tyson super jealous

I just made this:

http://imgur.com/20Twncl

warning,... its pretty huge.

My rough calculations say its about 369 meter per pixel.

I just made this:

warning,... its pretty huge.

My rough calculations say its about 369 meter per pixel.

Massive mountain ranges composed entirely of ice. That's incredible.

PLUTO IS A STRONG, INDEPENDANT PLANET WHO DON'T NEED NO MAN

If the moon were only one pixel...Pluto is at the very end.

Why does that make it look like the spray can tool on paint?

http://i.imgur.com/F636xiP.gif

It looks like just a cropped piece of the larger one

User Ian R of unmannedspaceflight.com created this colourised version, using existing MVIC colour data.

That's the joke.

How far we have come. From bashing each other on the head with a stick to gather food to exploration of our solar system. I sincerely hope we're entering a golden age of progress and understanding.

Interesting to note the lack of crater activity.

Holy shit that fucking blew my mind.

Maybe after the next great war.

Actual answer: we don't really know yet. New Horizons is the first probe we've ever sent there, prior to this the best images we've had have been a few pixels across. It's going to take a long time to go through all of NH's images, study them, and make analyses, so until then the response is "I dunno."

Because it is so small, and has a top layer of frozen nitrogen, with frozen water underneath that. So my guess would be it kind of fills back up over time and smooths out.

I didn't notice that...but I think you're right.

Catch!

Jesus the last part of that video really puts into perspective how much the climate really is changing. This should be at the top of the list in any climate change debate.

And climate change should be at the top of the list in any human debate.

tl;dr - water is commonly found far away from a solar systems sun. For our own, this means most water is found beyond mars, starting in the asteroid belt.

Since water's made up of some of the most common elements in the universe, and because it's so simple, it's basically everywhere. The reason we don't see liquid water, is because most of it is pushed out beyond a solar systems' frost line early on in a given systems' lifetime. We can see this in our own solar system. Look at the composition of Europa, Titan, or Pluto. You'll find a lot of them have water ice mantles. Even the gas giants have a fair chunk of ice in them. Compare that to the thin sheet of water that the Earth has.

In fact, water is so abundant, that Earth is kind of rare to have so little of it. Hundreds of water dominated planets, where their oceans run as deep as Earths' mantle does-- hundreds of these water worlds exist for every planet with both land and water at their surface.

I am afraid I have to assign you homework.  You must purchase and read this book.

It is neither long nor difficult but it is  REQUIRED READING.  You will be glad for the effort, easy promise.

I am afraid I have to assign you homework. You must purchase and read

It is neither long nor difficult but it is REQUIRED READING. You will be glad for the effort, easy promise.

Will be sure to bring this up next time my wife and I are arguing over what we're having for dinner.

Stunning. /sub/wallpaper worthy

Water is quite common in our solar system. It's liquid water that's rare.

When I see the Pillars of Creations, I think "wow, that's amazing".

And then I realize, our Sun, which is already huge when I see it compared to earth, is completely dwarfed by VY Canis Majoris (largest known star). That thing is large enough cover the distance between The Sun and Neptune. This is one colossal star. 

And then there are things like the Stingray Nebula which dwarf that star. And then, you have the Eskimo Nebula dwarfing that prior nebula. And then, you have the Pillars of Creation, which dwarf the Eskimo Nebula. 

That kind of scale truly is incomprehensible. Sure, we have pictures, but that's just it: pictures. They become relatable when they can fit in your hand or on your screen. But if you were able to actually experience something of that magnitude, your head may well literally explode.

And what's scary? As unfathomably large as all those things are; they're quarks compared to just the Milky Way. And there's galaxies even bigger than that. And there's 170 billion galaxies in just the observable universe. 

Fuck space.

When I see the , I think "wow, that's amazing".

And then I realize, our Sun, which is already huge when I see it compared to earth, is completely dwarfed by VY Canis Majoris (largest known star). That thing is large enough cover the distance between The Sun and Neptune. This is one colossal star.

And then there are things like the Stingray Nebula which dwarf that star. And then, you have the Eskimo Nebula dwarfing that prior nebula. And then, you have the Pillars of Creation, which dwarf the Eskimo Nebula.

That kind of scale truly is incomprehensible. Sure, we have pictures, but that's just it: pictures. They become relatable when they can fit in your hand or on your screen. But if you were able to actually experience something of that magnitude, your head may well literally explode.

And what's scary? As unfathomably large as all those things are; they're quarks compared to just the Milky Way. And there's galaxies even bigger than that. And there's 170 billion galaxies in just the observable universe.

Fuck space.

I really liked The Gunslinger of the Dark Tower series, but this monologue is one of my favorites of anything I've ever read.

wow that 2nd one is even better!

It's the long exposure for the stars. You can see this same effect if you google "Long exposure star trails" Basically, as the space craft and pluto moved together through our solar system, a star in the way off distance creates a point of light on the camera's sensor. A regular camera here on earth, in daytime, will probably expose a photo at anywhere from 1/60th of a second all the way up to 1/4000th of a second in extreme brightness (think, a sunny, snowy day or sunny at the beach)

Way out in the darkness of the edges of our solar system, so far away from the sun, a camera would have to expose a photo to gather more light so that we can actually see an image. I don't really know deep-space exposure times, but I estimate this photo was probably exposed over about 5 minutes judging by the length of the star trails. Because it is exposing light over a long period of time, when the camera (and pluto) move together, the position of the stars in the background change (even though the stars themselves don't move) which creates the star trail :)

That is effing brilliant.

Where is that quoted?

I think thats actually pretty off :D

Edit: I just read the part. So the image is 3420px wide, which is about 1261km as per my scale. Pretty spot on!

The title of this picture in /sub/space is simply “Close-up of sunset on Pluto”.

It really shows how sensationalist /sub/pics has become.

"9 years ago NASA blasted a satellite worth $700 MILLION dollars towards Pluto. We said they were CRAZY. You won't believe what happened next."

There are plenty of craters in the dark older terrain, as you can see in this image.

It's just the craters close to 'sea level' (okay there's no sea here.. glacier level?) are being actively covered up and removed by glacial activity. Probably.

.

It's just the craters close to 'sea level' (okay there's no sea here.. glacier level?) are being actively covered up and removed by glacial activity. Probably.

Now with slightly more brown!

The nitrogen ice can't be fully frozen, though. Frozen ice doesn't form glacier rivers. I think the ice is slightly partially melted, allowing it to flow.

The nitrogen ice can't be fully frozen, though. Frozen ice doesn't form . I think the ice is slightly partially melted, allowing it to flow.

So around 4450 years if you're from Europe?

I'll give it 2 or so days if you're from Germany.

Pretty close to the quoted 1250 km!

What's the km per cm scale there?

Thanks for the wide version of the shot! It's gorgeous!

And since I had some spare time I did a quick "wallpaper-esque" colorization, for anyone who is interested in such a thing :)

edit:
In this version i have redone the lighting and fixed some fragments and mistakes i made in the prior version of this image.

http://i.imgur.com/zpFg9sq.jpg

I hope some of you enjoy! :)

original post:
https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/3lfil7/colorized_sunset_over_pluto/

Thanks for the wide version of the shot! It's gorgeous!

And since I had some spare time I did a quick "wallpaper-esque" colorization, for anyone who is interested in such a thing :)

edit: In this version i have redone the lighting and fixed some fragments and mistakes i made in the prior version of this image.

I hope some of you enjoy! :)

original post: https://www.reddit.com/sub/pics/comments/3lfil7/colorized_sunset_over_pluto/

today, I realized how important you are and I'll never gonna take you for granted ever again

as far as i know they send a low res version and a smaller cropped high res version that way they can know how landscape looks like and how it looks like in detail, perhaps not in full detail, this is just to save time and focus on valuable data first they will definitely get the full res sometime, NH will last lots of years and will send data till 2016

Holy shit that fucking blew my mind.

Damn right. Thought it was a really cool video until they showed Manhattan for scale. Then I was like holy shit that thing is massive, this is ridiculously awesome!

PLUTO IS A PLANET AGAIN BITCHESSSSS

RemindMe! 300 years

Question for any science-savy person:

What are the causes of such enormous mountains? Plate techtonics? Impacts?

Baller. Thanks.

this is just to save time and focus on valuable data first

Also the best stuff is sent first in case the probe slams into something that we can't detect.

Crazy ass bitch, you still a planetoid and you know it!

for scale:

http://imgur.com/20Twncl

for scale:

So myself and my colleague had a little bit of fun with this just now in the office... it's the top of his head!

http://i.imgur.com/4Ptmjlw.jpg

So myself and my colleague had a little bit of fun with this just now in the office... it's the top of his head!

Baller. Thanks.

My one attempt and another attempt at colorizing.

My and another attempt at colorizing.

I think you missed the joke here

NASA & the New Horizons team hasn't really floated a solid possibility yet. The New Horizons folks were surprised by water-ice mountains this size at first.

There's at least a few options for erosion and geologic activity on Pluto. A dominant one has to be the freezing and sublimation of the nitrogen atmosphere over the course of one Pluto orbit. That's a lot of mass, moving.

There's evidence in pictures that the glaciers (of nitrogen ice) flow, like water-ice glaciers on Earth.

Then some scientists were hypothesizing at conferences a couple of year ago there are liquids on Pluto at its temperatures: nitrogen (under pressure), argon, neon, methane, things like that. Some of that could be underground. It's not clear what could survive as liquid exposed to the thin air on Pluto, though.

Finally, they were wondering about why Pluto was so "warm". It showed a lot of evidence of active geological processes. But the energy that drove those processes had to come from somewhere. None of the traditional answers made immediate sense, for a cold, orbitally stable, icy-but-not-very-rocky world like Pluto.

This was mostly at the press conferences a couple of months ago though, so ideas might've changed since then.

Fun fact: Astronomers are relatively sure the Pillars of Creation have already been destroyed by a nearby star. We can still see them because the light we're receiving in our telescopes is so old.

Great post of picture...and not to wax too scientific in /sub/pics, but this isn't really a "sunset", because Pluto basically rolls along its orbit with the axis tilted on its side (120° specifically) with regard to the plane of its orbit. This means the "north" end of Pluto is constantly rotisserieing in sunlight, and the "south" end away from the Sun is in constant darkness.

So think of these as the mountains lining the way into Modor, constantly in twilight.

This, and it's probably somewhat fluid anyway (albeit frozen) - slowly smoothed out by gravity

Oh fuck that picture gave me SUCH a science boner. Goddamn, New Horizons delivered.

chemist

Spotted the Brit... Oh who am i kidding, you're all Brits at this hour

They reach up to 3.5 kilometers high.

I notice there is no corrections saying Pluto isent a planet anymore. Did we upgrade it and I didn't notice? :D

Not if we change our biology. The primitive impulses that served us in the past clearly don't do so well in the 21st century. We have to evolve.

this one

Do you mean ?

No idea! I pulled the wide shot from the NASA site here. There's a caption that gives some scale for it:

Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured this near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto’s horizon. The smooth expanse of the informally named icy plain Sputnik Planum (right) is flanked to the west (left) by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. To the right, east of Sputnik, rougher terrain is cut by apparent glaciers. The backlighting highlights over a dozen layers of haze in Pluto’s tenuous but distended atmosphere. The image was taken from a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers) to Pluto; the scene is 780 miles (1,250 kilometers) wide.

I wonder when the first human will take their steps on those mountain ranges?

Though I imagine the first base camp will have a tongue-in-cheek name like "Base Degrasse-Tyson" :)

Having all of that hydrogen gas in one place tends to create large, powerful stars that burn through their fuel very quickly (within a few hundred million years). These stars are often large enough to go supernova, which releases a shockwave that pushes all of the gas around. The nebula is still there, but the iconic pillars have likely been mangled.

jesus christ man, do you think people disappear when they put their hands in front of their face

They reach up to 3.5 kilometers high.

encouraging nod

We did, and it was glorious.

What does that have to do with me outing redcoats at 2am? Oh I just missed a reference, didn't i? Darn

They reach up to 3.5 kilometers high.

/sub/wallpaper

Baller. Thanks.

On the second picture in the upper right, there are 3 vertical lines visible above Pluto. Does anyone know what these are? They look like bad pixels/camera defect, but they are not in the first picture.

Edit: Also, in the top left corner it shows two faint dots. Any idea for that?

On the second picture in the upper right, there are 3 vertical lines visible above Pluto. Does anyone know what these are? They look like bad pixels/camera defect, but they are not in the first picture.

Edit: Also, in the top left corner it shows . Any idea for that?

Judging from the mountain in the very back, which is about 10px, or ~ 3,7km high... I gather most of the mountains we see are up to 5km in height. Which is pretty massive for ice.

Baller. Thanks.

And if there's one reference you don't want to be missing, it's a reference to that book.

what are those layers in the atmosphere, and what's causing these mountain ranges to crop up? why does pluto have mountains but, say, the moon doesn't?

There isn't an actual colour version of this picture, but user Ian R of unmannedspaceflight.com created this from existing colour data.

You perfectionist ;)

As per /u/Tube-Alloys's comment, https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/pluto-s-majestic-mountains-frozen-plains-and-foggy-hazes/

People don't think it be like it is

definitely ufos sent by lizard obama

That guy blew my mind for being in a short sleeve shirt but then, holy hell. That's the kind of thing you can't accurately depict on video. You have to be there to truly get the sense of scale because imagination can't bridge the gap.

It looks like a whale was frozen to death.

It's breathtaking!

Hey everybody, look at this guy! He didn't calculate for angular movement relative to exposure speed! Har, har!

Seriously dude, it was a good question. I was wondering about that stuff, too.

1920x1080 edit of Reddit Pluto Sunrise

Edit: Added colorversions

I made a bunch of wallapers to accurately fit your standard wallpaper resolution. I might not be the only one who gets frustrated if I only see 60% of a total picture on my wp.

Edit: Added colorversions

I made a bunch of wallapers to accurately fit your standard wallpaper resolution. I might not be the only one who gets frustrated if I only see 60% of a total picture on my wp.