National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a series of 10 close-ups of the frosty, faraway world on Friday, representing one full rotation, or Pluto day. A Pluto day is equivalent to 6.4 Earth days.
The New Horizons spacecraft snapped the pictures from a Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) as it zoomed past Pluto in an unprecedented flyby in July. Pluto was between 400,000 and 5 million miles from the camera in these photos.
“These images and others like them reveal many details about Pluto, including the differences between the encounter hemisphere and the so-called ‘far side’ hemisphere seen only at lower resolution. Dimples in the bottom (south) edge of Pluto’s disk are artifacts of the way the images were combined to create these composites,” states the release.
A similar series of shots were taken of Pluto’s jumbo moon, Charon. But the Pluto pictures stand out much more because of the orb’s distinct heart-shaped region. Scientists call the heart Tombaugh Regio, after the U.S. astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930.
New Horizons is now headed to a new target.
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