back to article GAZE upon our HI-RES DWARF PICS of Pluto, beams proud NASA

Pictures of the surface of Pluto snapped by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft are increasing in quality, as it edges closer to its July sojourn through the Pluto system. New pics from the telescopic Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) taken between 29 May and 2 June show that Pluto is a "complex world with very bright and …

  1. Little Mouse

    Not much detail yet, then.

    Looking at those images, I'd guess that the originals were maybe 6-7 pixels in diameter?

    I wish New Horizons would hurry up a bit!

    1. DropBear
      Joke

      Re: Not much detail yet, then.

      Yeah, that would be shiny. You know - faster would be better.... Also, what's this "deconvolution" nonsense - don't they just say "enhance"...?!?

  2. Kaltern

    Wait, I can see what appears to be vegetation...those darker areas are clearly oceans of some kind.

    I look forward to greeting the Plutonians.....

    1. AbelSoul
      Trollface

      Re: greeting the Plutonians.....

      We come from Plutonia

      And we don't give a sh*t

      We've a national debt of sixty squillion pounds

      But we don't give a monkey's

      etc.

      1. hopkinse

        Re: greeting the Plutonians.....

        Someone's been watching too much Billy Connoly, if that's possible :-)

    2. leon clarke

      Plutonians?

      How about Plutocrats

  3. frank ly

    There's a bright area shaped like Africa just south of the equator, early in the video.

    1. WonkoTheSane

      So... this? http://xkcd.com/1532/

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Thumb Up

    Jesus!

    That's Pluto. PLUTO! An unimaginably distant planet (yes, planet) that I will see images of in my lifetime (I hope); the same lifetime in which our species left earth for the first time. Only two generations after we first took to the air.

    Am I the only one who is totally blown away by this staggering achievement?

    1. AbelSoul

      Re: Jesus!

      > Am I the only one who is totally blown away by this staggering achievement?

      Not at all. It is a wonderful achievement.

      The lack of fanfare could be down to various factors (e.g. given how far both Voyagers had already gone a couple of decades ago, Mr. bloke-in-the-street could be forgiven for thinking we've already been there) but hopefully the coverage - and excitement - will mount as we approach the fly-by.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Grikath

        Re: Jebus!

        Not dissing voyager.. I still have the projector slide set of Jupiter I got in my Youf. But the mechanics of the flyby's of the Voyagers was such that they'd *never* get near Pluto, so most of us assumed we'd never see whatever was out there in our lifetime, because no-one would be mad enough to send out a probe off into that direction. We'd missed our chance..

        Even theze foggy images are already 1000% percent more than I , and with me a lot of amateur astronomers, ever expected to see.. And I can fill my slide tray with the final pics of the Nine.. :)

        1. mad physicist Fiona

          Re: Jebus!

          But the mechanics of the flyby's of the Voyagers was such that they'd *never* get near Pluto

          That was quite possible, and indeed it had been pencilled in as one possible path to take: it is also the primary reason there were two Voyagers in the first place. The plan was that after Saturn the probes would diverge, one going to Uranus and Neptune, the other going on to Pluto - the orbital mechanics didn't allow a single probe to go on to all three but you could still choose between the two alternatives.

          As it turned out Titan looked too interesting in the initial Voyager 2 findings, so Voyager 1 was diverted to try (and largely fail) to find out more. After that the option was gone.

        2. Yag
          Pint

          Re: "no-one would be mad enough to send out a probe off into that direction. "

          Never underestimate boffins. Cheers to all of them!

    3. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Jesus!

      Yes, but I am also slightly distressed by the fact that parts of my wife are less interesting than Pluto. Anybody out there with problems like that.

      1. x 7

        Re: Jesus!

        "parts of my wife are less interesting than Pluto. Anybody out there with problems like that."

        Not since I engineered my wife into divorcing me.

        Now I can look at or visit interesting parts any time I wish .

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    Deconvolution?

    Gimp > Filters > Enhance > Sharpen

    I guess that's the one. As it runs the heat diffusion process in reverse, which is not uniquely determined, artifacts may appear indeed.

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Deconvolution?

      If you know the camera's point-spread function accurately, which I assume the guys who built the probe did, you can deconvolve the received image with the point-spread function.

      It makes more sense in the frequency domain (plus phase) where the deconvolution process consists of dividing the image spectrum by the camera's "low pass filter" effect to restore the original image. This, of course, is not as easy as it sounds for various reasons:

      1) There is noise in the image (both random and quantisation due to A/D converters). This gets magnified seriously wherever the camera has poor spatial resolution.

      2) If there are nulls in the camera's response you have irrecoverably lost that information.

      3) You might be trying to compensate for two effects - the camera's response and the movement of the system.

      4) Errors in the above can become artefacts.

  6. Malc

    I for one...

    Has anyone welcomed our new (slightly) higher rise pics overlords yet?

    Just thought I'd check.

  7. x 7

    "Pluto's system is a fairly chaotic one."

    Surely, pedantically, that means it isn't a system? If there is chaos, there can be no system

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Nope, chaos is a very specific thing

      It's not randomness.

      A Chaotic system is one that is very sensitive to initial conditions.

      For example, if a moon is 1m away from where you think it is, in a few orbits it'll be many km away from your prediction.

  8. Howard Hanek

    Thoughts Our Leaders May Be Having Seeing This

    No Chancellor Merkel you can not exile all the Greeks there........

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