Tag Archives: pluto

Getting upclose and personal with Pluto

Composite colour image of the dwarf planet Pluto
Composite colour image of the dwarf planet Pluto

The last few weeks have been monumental for NASA, including the New Horizons spacecraft making its closest approach ever to the dwarf planet Pluto on July 14th.

This composite picture of Pluto was put together using four different  images taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons and colour data from a different instrument. The pictures were taken when the spacecraft was about 450,000 kilometers from Pluto and have a resolution of 2.2 kilometers.

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Pluto and Charon

Pluto and its moon Charon
Pluto and its moon Charon

This picture of Pluto and its satellite, Charon, was taken back in 1994 by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Faint Object Camera (operated by the ESA). At the time this picture was taken, Pluto was 4.4 billion kilometers from Earth. Analysis from this image allowed scientists to very accurately measure Pluto’s diameter as 2,320 kilometers and Charon’s diameter to be 1,270 kilometers.

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