NASA creates virtual ‘fly-by’ video of Pluto

This July 13, 2015 image provided by NASA shows Pluto from the New Horizons spacecraft. On Friday, July 17, 2015, scientists said they found vast frozen plains spanning a couple hundred miles in the heart-shaped area of Pluto, next door to its big, rugged mountains of water ice. (NASA via AP)

(CNN) — NASA dazzled the world this week with pictures of the solar system’s most remote world: Pluto.

The New Horizons spacecraft captured the clearest images of the dwarf planet ever. Using those photos, NASA created a virtual “fly-by” of Pluto.

What emerged was a surprising picture of a celestial body that shattered previous assumptions. Far from being a boring, icy rock on the edges of the solar system, the pictures show a youthful, geologically diverse planet, possibly still developing.

Instead of a broadly pockmarked surface, we saw vast, smooth expanses, flowing into hundreds of miles of troughs, cliffs, and even a mountain rage rivaling the Rockies.

The New Horizons spacecraft is now more than a million miles on the other side of Pluto. NASA says its mission may be extended to explore another small world.

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