PIA19688: Pluto and Charon in Color: Barycentric View (Animation)
 Target Name:  Pluto
 Is a satellite of:  Sol (our sun)
 Mission:  New Horizons
 Spacecraft:  New Horizons
 Instrument:  MVIC
 Product Size:  1000 x 1000 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Johns Hopkins University 
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA19688.tif (3.001 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA19688.jpg (32.29 kB)

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Original Caption Released with Image:

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 was assembled from images made in three colors -- blue, red and near-infrared -- by the Multispectral 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 barycentric, meaning that both Pluto and Charon are shown in motion around the binary's barycenter -- the shared center of gravity between the two bodies as they do a planetary jig. Because Pluto is much more massive than Charon, the barycenter (marked by a small "x" in the movie) is much closer to Pluto than to Charon. 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.

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

Image Addition Date: