…no, really. There hasn’t been an image this detailed of Pluto and its moon Charon in pretty much EVER. (Which makes total sense since New Horizons is the FIRST spacecraft to visit it and it has less than a week and .05 AU to go until its closest pass!) So actually everything you’ll see of Pluto and Charon from now on will be like never before.
That said, this view of the two worlds – captured by the LORRI camera on July 7 – is simply incredible! It’s hard to believe that we are now seeing such detail on a 1,430-mile-wide (2,302 km) planet that had been for so long just a point of light or, at best, a murky blob in our best telescopes.
What an exciting time to be a fan of space exploration!
See more of the latest images from New Horizons here, and if you want to see how big Pluto and Charon are compared to Earth click below…
Also by combining images from LORRI with low-resolution color data from the Ralph instrument, the below image of Pluto was created that shows a heart-shaped bright region. Lovin’ it!
“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,” said Jeff Moore, Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team Leader of NASA’s Ames Research Center, on July 9. “It will be incredible!” (Source)