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  • IAF always cautious and alert says Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa:-As tensions continue between India and Pakistan over the abrogation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa has said the Indian Air Force (IAF) is "always cautious and alert" to check any untoward aerial movement on the border....
  • Chandrayaan-2 placed in Lunar orbit, focus now on soft-landing:- India's Chandrayaan-2 mission, aimed at soft landing a rover in the unexplored south pole of the Moon, achieved a major milestone as the ISRO successfully injected the spacecraft into the lunar orbit on Tuesday. ...
  • Chandrayaan 2 successfully enters orbit around Moon:-In a major milestone for India's Moon mission, the Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft successfully entered the lunar orbit on Tuesday. Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) maneuver was completed successfully at 0902 hours as planned, using the onboard propulsion system, the Bengaluru headquartered space agency said in a statement....
  • Pak Army chief Gen Bajwa gets three-year extension:-Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa's term has been extended for another three years by Prime Minister Imran Khan in view of the "regional security environment", an official announcement said on Monday....

NASA spacecraft beams new images of Pluto

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An artistic illustration of dwarf planet Pluto. A NASA image

WASHINGTON (PTI): New photos beamed back by a NASA spacecraft zooming towards Pluto have unveiled more intriguing details of the dwarf planet's complex and high-contrast surface.

Images of Pluto from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft are growing in scale as the spacecraft approaches its mysterious target, the US space agency said.

The new images, taken between May 8 and 12 using a powerful telescopic camera and downlinked last week, show more details about Pluto's complex varied surface.

The images were taken from just under 77 million kilometres away, using the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons.

Because New Horizons was approximately 20 million miles closer to Pluto in mid-May than in mid-April, the new images contain about twice as many pixels on the object as images made in mid-April.

A technique called image deconvolution sharpens the raw, unprocessed pictures beamed back to Earth.

In the April images, New Horizons scientists determined that Pluto has broad surface markings - some bright, some dark - including a bright area at one pole that may be a polar cap.

"These new images show us that Pluto's differing faces are each distinct; likely hinting at what may be very complex surface geology or variations in surface composition from place to place," said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern.

"These images also continue to support the hypothesis that Pluto has a polar cap whose extent varies with longitude; we'll be able to make a definitive determination of the polar bright region's iciness when we get compositional spectroscopy of that region in July," said Stern.

The images New Horizons returns will dramatically improve in coming weeks as the spacecraft speeds closer to its July 14 encounter with the Pluto system, covering about 750,000 miles per day.

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