New Horizons was about 3.7 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Pluto and Charon when it snapped this portrait late on July 8, 2015. Color information obtained earlier in the mission from the Ralph instrument has been added.
By Maya Rhodan
July 10, 2015

As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft inches closer to the icy planet Pluto, unprecedented images of its surface and moon have emerged.

On Thursday, NASA revealed images of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, shedding light on new details about the surface of the dwarf planet and its moon.

The two celestial bodies have little in common despite existing in harmony for billions of years. The dwarf planet is home to “exotic ices” ranging from nitrogen to carbon monoxide, NASA says, while its moon carries frozen water and ammonia.

New Horizons will soon wrap its nearly decade long mission to get close to Pluto. It is scheduled to pass the planet on July 14.


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