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An array of images shows Pluto from all sides, as seen by NASA’s New Horizons probe over the course of one full Plutonian day (6.4 Earth days) from July 7 to 13. (Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)

The bright heart of Pluto has been burned into our consciousness, thanks to scads of high-resolution pictures. But a new set of images from NASA’s New Horizons mission provides an all-around view of the dwarf planet, including the splotchy shapes that went out of view days before the time of closest approach on July 14.

Another 10-picture set shows Pluto’s biggest moon, Charon, from all sides.

The imagery was captured over the course of a full Plutonian day, which is 6.4 Earth days long. New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager and the Ralph / Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera were trained on the icy worlds as the distance to Pluto decreased from 5 million miles on July 7 to 400,000 miles on July 13.

Because of the differences in distance, New Horizons’ best-resolution view of Pluto is at the 6 o’clock position, showing the heart-shaped region that’s been dubbed Tombaugh Regio. The best view of Charon, which highlights the polar dark spot nicknamed Mordor Macula and the canyon informally known as Serenity Chasma, is shown here at the 12 o’clock position.

Charon views
New Horizons’ cameras captured these views of Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, between July 7 and 13 as the spacecraft closed in over a range of 6.4 million miles. (Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)

Although these views show how the worlds turn over the course of their entire day, they don’t show the entire surface of either celestial body. New Horizons made its closest approach north of Pluto’s equator, which means a fair stretch of the southern hemisphere went unseen.

But stay tuned … more imagery is due to be sent back to Earth over the course of the next year. In the meantime, feast your eyes on New Horizons’ psychedelic color-coded view of Pluto.

This color-coded view uses bright colors to highlight the subtler differences in the look of Pluto's distinct geological regions. (Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)
This color-coded view uses bright colors to highlight the subtler differences in the look of Pluto’s distinct geological regions. (Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)
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