Pluto's surface revealed in stunning photos

Chaotic, blocky mountains (NASA)
Chaotic, blocky mountains (NASA)

A series of photos of Pluto from NASA's New Horizons probe have been stitched together, providing a stunning up-close view of the dwarf planet.

NASA says it's the most detailed view of Pluto's terrain people will see for a long time.

The grayscale image is a combination of all of photos taken by New Horizons so far, stretching across the hemisphere the probe passed over almost to the day-night line, known as the "terminator".

It's an incredible look at the planet found 7.5 billion kilometres from our own. It shows the vast differences between Pluto's landscapes -- from low craters, to the icy plains which form Pluto's newly-iconic heart, to rocky mountains.

Pluto's surface revealed in stunning photos

Hummocky, cratered uplands (NASA)

New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern says the resultant image is "magnetic".

"It makes me want to go back on another mission to Pluto and get high-resolution images like these across the entire surface."

The size of the areas captured in the images range from around 75 kilometres to more than 90 kilometres wide, at a resolution of around 80 metres per pixel.

As New Horizons travelled across the planet the perspective changes, from the initial horizontal view looking across the planet's surface in the first images, to a top-down view of the rugged highlands captured in the last few.

Pluto's surface revealed in stunning photos

Rugged, dark highlands (NASA)

Despite the detail in the images, the probe was still around 15,850 kilometres away from the planet when it started snapping. The photos were taken nearly a year ago.

The full mosaic is available on NASA's website.