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Pluto: A Remarkable World
Release Date: July 3, 2015
Even though New Horizons is still millions of miles from Pluto, its highest resolution imager is revealing a remarkably complex surface.
This image of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 1, 2015, from a distance of 10 million miles (16 million kilometers), shows features as small as 100 miles (160 kilometers) across.
This view shows the side of Pluto that will be viewed in highest resolution by New Horizons when it flies past the planet on July 14. Near the equator, sharp edged dark regions are surrounded by brighter terrain. Farther north, shadings are more subtle, with suggestions of a more varied, mottled surface.
"Even at this resolution, Pluto looks like no other world in our solar system,” said co-investigator Marc Buie, of SwRI. "We're already seeing a remarkable amount of detail, and the complexity continues to increase as the images get better."
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute