NASA video allows viewers to make virtual landing on Pluto

NASA video allows viewers to make virtual landing on Pluto

The National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) has released a video depicting what a landing on the distant dwarf planet of Pluto would look like.

The renowned space agency created the video using more than one hundred images taken by its New Horizons spacecraft six weeks of its approach and close flyby the dwarf planet in summer 2015.

The eye-catching video offers a virtual trip down onto Pluto’s surface. It starts with a distant view of the dwarf planet as well as its largest moon, called Charon. Then it leads up to a ride in for a virtual landing on the Pluto shoreline that has informally been named Sputnik Planitia.

The newly released video provides viewers with an opportunity to see the planet in all its colorized glory, depicting its characteristic red, brown and copper hues.

Scientists believe that the red hue in the planet’s southwestern hemisphere is likely due to hydrocarbons called tholins that form Pluto’s atmosphere.

The New Horizons spacecraft flew through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015, after completing a more than 3-billion-mile trip in 9.5 years. Its powerful telescopic cameras captured hundreds of images of Pluto as well as its moons from a distance of 7,800 miles, and sent them back to Earth.