Putting Pluto's geology on the map
|This map of the left side of Pluto’s heart-shaped feature uses colors to represent |
Pluto’s varied terrains, which helps scientists understand the complex
geological processes at work [Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI]
The various blue and greenish units that fill the center of the map represent different textures seen across Sputnik Planum, from the cellular terrain in the center and north, to the smooth and pitted plains in the south. The black lines represent troughs that mark the boundaries of cellular regions in the nitrogen ice. The purple unit represents the chaotic, blocky mountain ranges that line Sputnik's western border, and the pink unit represents the scattered, floating hills at its eastern edge. The possible cryovolcanic feature informally named Wright Mons is mapped in red in the southern corner of the map. The rugged highlands of the informally named Cthulhu Regio are mapped in dark brown along the western edge, pockmarked by many large impact craters, shown in yellow.
|Pluto’s informally-named Sputnik Planum region is mapped, with the key indicating |
a wide variety of units or terrains. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
The base map for this geologic map is a mosaic of 12 images obtained by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) at a resolution of 1,280 feet (about 390 meters) per pixel. The mosaic was obtained at a range of approximately 48,000 miles (77,300 kilometers) from Pluto, about an hour and 40 minutes before New Horizons' closest approach on July 14, 2015.
Author: Tricia Talbert | Source: NASA [February 14, 2016]