PIA19708: Pluto's Big Heart in Color
 Target Name:  Pluto
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  New Horizons
 Spacecraft:  New Horizons
 Instrument:  LORRI
 Product Size:  1024 x 1024 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Johns Hopkins University/APL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA19708.tif (3.147 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA19708.jpg (50.95 kB)

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Pluto nearly fills the frame in this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015, when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface. This is the last and most detailed image sent to Earth before the spacecraft's closest approach to Pluto on July 14. The color image has been combined with lower-resolution color information from the Ralph instrument that was acquired earlier on July 13.

This view is dominated by the large, bright feature informally named the "heart" which measures approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) across. The heart borders darker equatorial terrains, and the mottled terrain to its east (right) is complex. However, even at this resolution, much of the heart's interior appears remarkably featureless -- possibly a sign of ongoing geologic processes.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built, and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Southwest Research Institute, based in San Antonio, leads the science team, payload operations and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Image Credit:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

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