NASA videos take you on a personal tour of Pluto


From there, the flyby footage passes over Sputnik's western border with Cthulhu Macula, which is a dark, craters region located within the nearby highlands.

The video comes thanks to NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which made a historic flyby of Pluto back on July 14, 2015, providing scientists with a wealth of data they are still steadily evaluating and learning from.

This week - using data from that voyage and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon - scientists released two videos showing Pluto from a vantage point even closer than the spacecraft traveled. NASA has unveiled a set of detailed, high-quality global maps of Pluto and Charon.

In July 2015, when New Horizons sent the first close-up pictures of Pluto and its moon, NASA said in a statement, it inspired many to wonder "what a flight over the distant worlds' icy terrain might be like".

The video then moves towards the northern part passing through "rugged and fractured highlands of Voyager Terra". Pluto's largest moon, Charon, is also dotted with craters and overlaid with expansive plains. After many decades being labeled the ninth planet in our Solar System, scientists reclassified Pluto about ten years ago, officially dubbing it a dwarf planet rather than a full-fledged one. This video begins over the hemisphere New Horizons saw at its closest approach.

The team behind the mission was "blown away by the incredible diversity of terrain on Pluto and just generally, the collection of phenomena we've observed throughout the Pluto system", project scientist Hal Weaver told CBS News a year ago.

To emphasize Pluto's topography, the dwarf planet's relief is exaggerated by a factor of two to three times, while the surface colors of Pluto and Charon also are enhanced in the video, NASA said.

"Everywhere we turn are new mysteries", says Alan Stern, the principle investigator for New Horizons. "Fortunately, now we know how to do that and what new instruments to bring to bear".

New Horizons is now venturing deep into the Kuiper Belt, which is a region of icy bodies and dwarf planets like Pluto, according to NASA. The spacecraft will zoom past a Kuiper Belt object known as 2014 MU69 in January 2019.