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Signs of Geology (Annotated)
Release Date: July 10, 2015
Tantalizing signs of geology on Pluto are revealed in this image from New Horizons taken on July 9, 2015 from 3.3 million miles (5.4 million kilometers) away. The annotation indicates features described in the text, and includes a reference globe showing Pluto’s orientation in the image, with the equator and central meridian in bold. At this range, Pluto is beginning to reveal the first signs of discrete geologic features. This image views the side of Pluto that always faces its largest moon, Charon, and includes the so-called “tail” of the dark whale-shaped feature along its equator. (The immense, bright feature shaped like a heart had rotated from view when this image was captured. Among the structures tentatively identified in this new image are what appear to be polygonal features; a complex band of terrain stretching east-northeast across the planet, approximately 1,000 miles long; and a complex region where bright terrains meet the dark terrains of the whale.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute