First High-Quality Real Stereo Image of Pluto

July 23, 2015

Pluto last before flyby and 2 by 2 ed 2 smish

Stereo Pair Creator
: Brian May
Summary Authors: Brian May; Greg Parker

July 2015 Viewer's ChoiceThis stereo pair of Pluto was created from images recently downloaded from the New Horizons spacecraft. I had the privilege of being at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, when the first 2-by-2 mosaic, full-planet image was downloaded from the probe, and assembled into exactly the required resolution to partner with the iconic "last-look" photo that preceded the final fly-by. I worked with these two images to make the first ever real, high-quality stereo image of Pluto -- the most satisfying stereo view I can recall making.

The right-hand image is the "last-look" image from July 15 and the left-hand image is the 2-by-2 mosaic downloaded from New Horizons on July 17. All I did was finely adjust the orientations so they would match up and also match the coloring of the two images by eye. This image pair can be viewed by "free viewing" and by using a stereo viewer such as the OWL. Click here for instructions on how to view using both of these approaches. For more about NASA's historic encounter with Pluto click here.

Thanks to the New Horizons Team and to team leader Alan Stern for sharing their successes with me.