On approach in July 2015, the cameras on NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured Pluto rotating over the course of a full “Pluto day.” The images have been combined to create this view of a full rotation. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's newest Pluto pictures depict an entire day on the dwarf planet.
The space agency released a series of 10 close-ups of the frosty, faraway world Friday, representing one full rotation, or Pluto day (first image in gallery). A Pluto day is equivalent to 6.4 Earth days.
The New Horizons spacecraft snapped the pictures as it zoomed past Pluto in an unprecedented flyby in July. Pluto was between 400,000 and 5 million miles from the camera for these photos.
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.