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Pluto and Charon in Color: Pluto-Centric View
Release Date: June 11, 2015
The first color movies from NASA's New Horizons mission show Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, and the complex orbital dance of the two bodies, known as a double planet. This near-true color movie were assembled from images made in three colors - blue, red and near-infrared - by the Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera on the instrument known as Ralph. The images were taken on nine different occasions from May 29-June 3, 2015.
The movie is "Pluto-centric," meaning that Charon is shown as it moves in relation to Pluto, which is digitally centered in the movie. (The North Pole of Pluto is at the top.) Pluto makes one turn around its axis every 6 days, 9 hours and 17.6 minutes-the same amount of time that Charon rotates in its orbit. Looking closely at the images in this movie, one can detect a regular shift in Pluto's brightness-due to the brighter and darker terrains on its differing faces.
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Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute