NASA released a false-color image of Pluto on Thursday, revealing an unprecedented view of the dwarf planet’s vividly contrasting patches of terrain.
The picture is a composite of multiple images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, captured 280,000 miles away from Pluto in the days before the July 14 flyby.
The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the probe captured photos that thrilled the world last week. Close-ups from that camera were combined with data from a Ralph instrument on board to create these new color depictions.
According to the NASA press release, the color suggests insights about Pluto’s “icy heart”: the ice appears to be originating and spreading outward from the “heart of the heart,” Sputnik Planum.