New Horizons captures its first color images of Pluto

New Horizons Captures Its First Color Images Of Pluto
New Horizons Captures Its First Color Images Of Pluto

NASA's New Horizons probe has returned the first color images of Pluto.

The small blurry dots in the newly-released photo are Pluto and Charon, the largest of Pluto's moons. New Horizons captured the image from 71 million miles away.

"You can see immediately a number of major differences: Pluto seems to be very bright. It seems to be redder," NASA's Jim green told National Geographic. "Charon is now dimmer than Pluto."

While the images amount to only a few pictures, they are the best we've seen yet of the distant images. Even the best telescopes the world has to offer have been unable to get clearer pictures, but New Horizons is expected to change all that in the coming months.

The mission launched on January 19, 2006 -- back when Pluto was still a planet and not just a dwarf planet.

The probe has spent more than nine years and three billion miles in transit to get out to Pluto's orbit.

When it finally reaches the planet in July, NASA will have it take the most detailed images to date of Pluto. NASA says it will get within 7,750 miles, which should be close enough to resolve ground characteristics just a few miles across.

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