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.
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.
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