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This image from NASA's New Horizons highlights the contrasting appearance of the two worlds: Charon is mostly gray, with a dark reddish polar cap, while Pluto shows a wide variety of subtle color variations.
This image from NASA's New Horizons highlights the contrasting appearance of the two worlds: Charon is mostly gray, with a dark reddish polar cap, while Pluto shows a wide variety of subtle color variations.

A Binary Planet in Color

Pluto shows two remarkably different sides in these color images of the planet and its largest moon, Charon, taken by NASA's New Horizons on June 25 and June 27, 2015.
Pluto shows two remarkably different sides in these color images of the planet and its largest moon, Charon, taken by NASA's New Horizons on June 25 and June 27, 2015.

Two Faces of Pluto July 1

This enhanced color view from NASA's New Horizons is of Pluto's surface diversity At lower right, ancient, heavily cratered terrain is coated with dark, reddish tholins. At upper right, volatile ices fill the informally named Sputnik Planum.
This enhanced color view from NASA's New Horizons is of Pluto's surface diversity At lower right, ancient, heavily cratered terrain is coated with dark, reddish tholins. At upper right, volatile ices fill the informally named Sputnik Planum.

Surface Diversity

Images downloaded from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft (through Sept. 11, 2015) were stitched together and rendered on a sphere to make this flyover 'movie.' This is a frame from the animation.
Images downloaded from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft (through Sept. 11, 2015) were stitched together and rendered on a sphere to make this flyover 'movie.' This is a frame from the animation.

Flyover Sputnik Planum

This image contains the initial, informal names being used by NASA's New Horizons team for the features and regions on the surface of Pluto. These names have not yet been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
This image contains the initial, informal names being used by NASA's New Horizons team for the features and regions on the surface of Pluto. These names have not yet been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Informal Names for Features on Pluto

An artist's concept of the dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia. The sun is the small star in the distance.
An artist's concept of the dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia. The sun is the small star in the distance.

Eris and Dysnomia (Artist's Concept)

This image contains the initial, informal names being used by NASA's New Horizons team for the features and regions on the surface of Pluto's largest moon, Charon. These names have not yet been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
This image contains the initial, informal names being used by NASA's New Horizons team for the features and regions on the surface of Pluto's largest moon, Charon. These names have not yet been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Informal Names for Features on Pluto's Moon Charon

Pluto and Charon, the largest of Pluto's five known moons, seen Jan. 25 and 27, 2015, through the telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.
Pluto and Charon, the largest of Pluto's five known moons, seen Jan. 25 and 27, 2015, through the telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.

A Long-Distance Look from LORRI

This image contains the initial, informal names being used by the New Horizons team for the features on Pluto's Sputnik Planum (plain). These names have not yet been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
This image contains the initial, informal names being used by the New Horizons team for the features on Pluto's Sputnik Planum (plain). These names have not yet been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Informal Names for Features on Pluto's Sputnik Planum

The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager on NASA New Horizons acquired images of the Pluto field three days apart in late September 2006, in order to see Pluto's motion against a dense background of stars.
The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager on NASA New Horizons acquired images of the Pluto field three days apart in late September 2006, in order to see Pluto's motion against a dense background of stars.

New Horizons Sees Pluto

A white arrow marks Pluto in this NASA New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager picture taken Sept. 24, 2006. Pluto is little more than a faint point of light among a dense field of stars.
A white arrow marks Pluto in this NASA New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager picture taken Sept. 24, 2006. Pluto is little more than a faint point of light among a dense field of stars.

New Horizons Sees Pluto (Sept. 24)

A white arrow marks Pluto in this NASA New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager picture taken Sept. 21, 2006. Pluto is little more than a faint point of light among a dense field of stars.
A white arrow marks Pluto in this NASA New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager picture taken Sept. 21, 2006. Pluto is little more than a faint point of light among a dense field of stars.

New Horizons Sees Pluto (Sept. 21)

The brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres are seen in this image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on June 6, 2015.
The brightest spots on dwarf planet Ceres are seen in this image taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on June 6, 2015.

Bright Spots in Ceres' Second Mapping Orbit

In this highest-resolution image from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, great blocks of Pluto's water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains.
In this highest-resolution image from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, great blocks of Pluto's water-ice crust appear jammed together in the informally named al-Idrisi mountains.

The Mountainous Shoreline of Sputnik Planum

NASA's Dawn spacecraft captured this view of a region in the mid-southern latitudes of Ceres. The largest crater in the scene is Fluusa. Fluusa has a densely cratered floor and therefore is interpreted as an old impact feature.
NASA's Dawn spacecraft captured this view of a region in the mid-southern latitudes of Ceres. The largest crater in the scene is Fluusa. Fluusa has a densely cratered floor and therefore is interpreted as an old impact feature.

Dawn LAMO Image 33

This recently received panchromatic image of Pluto's small satellite Nix taken by NASA's New Horizons is one of the best images of Pluto's third-largest moon.
This recently received panchromatic image of Pluto's small satellite Nix taken by NASA's New Horizons is one of the best images of Pluto's third-largest moon.

Pluto's Moon Nix, Half Illuminated

This Cerean crater, which is covered in ridges and steep slopes, called scarps, was captured by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Dec. 23, 2015. These features likely resulted when the crater partly collapsed during its formation.
This Cerean crater, which is covered in ridges and steep slopes, called scarps, was captured by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on Dec. 23, 2015. These features likely resulted when the crater partly collapsed during its formation.

Crater with Scarps in LAMO

These views of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, 2015, shows an area in the southern mid-latitudes of the dwarf planet. They are located around a crater chain called Gerber Catena.
These views of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, 2015, shows an area in the southern mid-latitudes of the dwarf planet. They are located around a crater chain called Gerber Catena.

Dawn LAMO View Around Gerber Catena, Ceres

This view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, 2015, shows an area in the southern mid-latitudes of the dwarf planet.
This view of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, 2015, shows an area in the southern mid-latitudes of the dwarf planet.

Dawn's Lowest Orbit: Southern Mid-Latitudes

Kupalo Crater, taken Dec. 21, 2016 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows one of the youngest craters on Ceres. The crater has bright material exposed on its rim and walls, which could be salts. Its flat floor likely formed from impact melt and debris.
Kupalo Crater, taken Dec. 21, 2016 by NASA's Dawn spacecraft, shows one of the youngest craters on Ceres. The crater has bright material exposed on its rim and walls, which could be salts. Its flat floor likely formed from impact melt and debris.

Kupalo Crater from LAMO

This image of Pluto was taken by NASA's New Horizons' spacecraft at 4:18 UT on July 9, 2015, from a range of 3.9 million miles (6.3 million kilometers) reveals new details on the surface of Pluto.
This image of Pluto was taken by NASA's New Horizons' spacecraft at 4:18 UT on July 9, 2015, from a range of 3.9 million miles (6.3 million kilometers) reveals new details on the surface of Pluto.

New Details on Pluto

This image of Ceres is part of a sequence taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 16, 2015, from a distance of 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometers).
This image of Ceres is part of a sequence taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on May 16, 2015, from a distance of 4,500 miles (7,200 kilometers).

Dawn OpNav8 Image 1

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this feature which appears to be a frozen, former lake of liquid nitrogen, located in a mountain range just north of Pluto's informally named Sputnik Planum.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this feature which appears to be a frozen, former lake of liquid nitrogen, located in a mountain range just north of Pluto's informally named Sputnik Planum.

Pluto: On Frozen Pond

This illustration shows some of the final images used to determine that the coast was clear for NASA's New Horizons' flight through the Pluto system.
This illustration shows some of the final images used to determine that the coast was clear for NASA's New Horizons' flight through the Pluto system.

Deep Field Image

These views of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, show an area in the southern part of the southern hemisphere of the dwarf planet.
These views of Ceres, taken by NASA's Dawn spacecraft on December 10, show an area in the southern part of the southern hemisphere of the dwarf planet.

Dawn's LAMO View of Ceres

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