Take A Spin Around Pluto In One Amazing Space Image

A day in the life of the dwarf planet.

Ever wish you could spend a day on Pluto?

Using photos taken from the New Horizons spacecraft, NASA scientists have created a composite image that depicts a full rotation of the dwarf planet.

The images were taken during a close flyby in mid-July, when the distance between New Horizons and Pluto went from 5 million miles to just (well, "just") 400,000. Pluto spins much more slowly than our planet, taking about six and a half Earth days to complete a day of its own.

One highlight of the image is a glimpse of the dwarf planet’s largest bright surface. The “heart-shaped” feature, informally named the Tombaugh Regio, is visible in the bottom half of the frame, NASA says. Pluto was at its closest point to New Horizons at the time, making these the most detailed images.

A day in the life of Pluto.
A day in the life of Pluto.

NASA also released a similar set of images showing Pluto's largest moon, Charon.

Both sets of photos were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera.

Pluto's largest moon, Charon.
Pluto's largest moon, Charon.

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