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Mapping Pluto's 'Broken Heart'
Release Date: October 29, 2015
In addition to transmitting new high-resolution images and other data on the familiar close-approach hemispheres of Pluto and Charon, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is also returning images - such as this one - to improve maps of other regions.
This image was taken by the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on the morning of July 13, 2015, from a range of 1.03 million miles (1.7 million kilometers) and has a resolution of 5.1 miles (8.3 kilometers) per pixel. It provides fascinating new details to help the science team map the informally named Krun Macula (the prominent dark spot at the bottom of the image) and the complex terrain east and northeast of Pluto's "heart" (Tombaugh Regio). Pluto's north pole is on the planet's disk at the 12 o'clock position of this image.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute