First High Quality real stereo image of Pluto


First high quality REAL stereo image of Pluto.

I had an unforgettable 3 days with the amazing New Horizons team. I’m still ‘coming down’. Alan Stern, leader of the Science Team at APL in Laurel, Maryland, personally made sure I was treated like one of the family, as a collaborator, and I felt privileged to the nth degree.

I was, of course, as always, obsessed with finding stereoscopic opportunities while I was there, and the Gods of the Underworld must have been with me, because I was there when the first 2 by 2 mosaic full-planet picture was downloaded from the probe, and assembled into exactly the required highish res partner to the iconic ‘last-look’ photo which preceded the final fly-by. Baseline must be a few hundred thousand miles, but I’ll need to check that. Of course the New Horizons guys were already doing serious science on this image as it arrived, but I was able to assemble the two images to make the most satisfying stereo view I can ever remember making. I got some help making some prints on site, so I was able to show this 3-D to the entire team through the lenses of some OWLS I took over.

So this is definitely the first REAL high quality stereo image of Pluto in history. And we can say it’s officially NH approved !

No fiddling this time. The right image is the ‘last-look’ photo from 15th July, and the left image is the ‘two-by-two downloaded from NH on the 17th.

All I did was fine-adjust the orientations to match up, and match up the colouring by eye.


Pluto last before flyby
Pluto last before flyby
Photos courtesy of NASA, stereo by Bri.
Help with Stereo Viewing (LSC}

If you’ve been following the New Horizons mission closely, you’ll have seen Amy Teitel’s Pluto in a Minute videos. Well, before I left, we did one together, which I think will make you smile. It features this stereo view, so now you can see it as she saw it at that moment (we got a good ‘wow!’).

We’ll post up a link to that vid as soon as we have it.