Solar Explorer 2.7.0: Pluto update
I’ve just updated both versions of Solar Explorer to include updated images and data.
The best images of Pluto that I was able to find cover about 30% of the surface because New Horizons was moving so fast it could only take detailed shots of one side as it whipped by.
Because of this, I’ve created an “artistic impression” of the missing part of Pluto based on the part that we can actually see. One day we’ll have photos of the whole thing.
I’d always imagined that Pluto it would be a fairly uniformly pockmarked ball, tinted pink by methane ice on the surface. The reality was very different. Pluto appears to have quite an active surface with mountain ranges and nitrogen glaciers smoothing out craters over large swathes of the surface.
Exoplanet Explorer & Gravity Sim
There weren’t many new confirmed planets added to the catalog over the past few months, so I haven’t released an update for Exoplanet Explorer. I checked again late last week and the total is up to 33 so I’m readying a new update. It should be out in a few days.
Gravity Sim is also getting an update soon. I’ve converted it to Unity 5 now that most of the 3rd party components support it. Thanks to competition from other 3D development tools, Unity were forced to unlock most of the features in the Pro version for the free version of Unity 5. This will add new features that weren’t possible with the old version of Unity… at least not without spending thousands of dollars buying full version licenses.