Today’s blog post is written by Constantine Tsang, a senior research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. Con was a member of the New Horizons’ Geology, Geophysics Investigations (GGI) and Composition teams during the Pluto flyby, creating approach and photometric stereo movies of Pluto’s terrain.
It’s amazing that we’ve come such a long way in our exploration of the Pluto system, and it’s only been five months since the close flyby of New Horizons. From the exceptionally young ice-covered plain informally named Tombaugh Regio on Pluto to the deep canyons cut into Charon, the terrains we’re seeing are just amazing. Everyone, from the mission scientists to the general public, seems to be having a field day coming up with pet theories and comparisons with other places in our solar system to explain the alien Pluto system worlds we’re seeing.
The New Horizons Science Team Meeting in Boulder, Colorado, in November 2015. Mission scientists enjoyed the fruits of their labor by viewing stereographic projections of geology 3-D terrain maps of Pluto and Charon. Credit: Constantine Tsang
Approaching the Pluto System
To put this into context, I’d like to take us back a few weeks just prior to ...