This is the most detailed picture that has ever been taken of pluto.
The New Horizons probe snapped the picture on Tuesday when it was only 5 million miles away from the dwarf world.
It includes a large dark region near Pluto’s equator, dubbed “the whale”, and a roughly heart-shaped bright area spanning 2,000km, which scientists believe is a frozen lake of carbon monoxide .
A world that’s remained hidden from view for 4.5 billion years – isn’t exploration wonderful 🙂 Hello Pluto ! pic.twitter.com/TcwRo50eaX
— Brian Cox (@ProfBrianCox) July 9, 2015
NASA researcher Jeff Moore said in a statement: “The next time we see this part of Pluto at closest approach, a portion of this region will be imaged at about 500 times better resolution than we see today”.
“It will be incredible!”
At closest approach, New Horizons will be about 7767 miles above the surface of Pluto.
New Horizons’ difficulty is getting all that information back to Earth. The distance to Pluto is more than 2.7 billion miles and this makes very low speeds at which the information will be sent and received.
The data including new pictures will take around 16 months to reach earth.
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