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File:PlutoColorMap HST2002-2003.jpg

Description This newest image of Pluto - our most distant planetary neighbour - shows more detail than any taken before. It might not look like much, but keep in mind that Pluto is only 1,400 miles (2,253 km) across - about two-thirds the size of our Moon - and more than 3.5 billion miles (5.6 billion km) away.

It took the Hubble Space Telescope a dozen orbits around the Earth for the Hubble Space Telescope to take the picture, and nearly two years of computer processing to stitch all the information together. The image shows most of the spherical surface of Pluto spread out into a flat map.

The red areas indicate methane ice, which seems to be everywhere. The dark areas may be dirty water-ice. Lighter areas indicate nitrogen frost. The bright spot near the centre of the map could be a sign of carbon monoxide
Date 3 November 2005
Source NASA HubbleSite
Author Marc Buie (Lowell Observatory)/NASA/ESA
( Reusing this file)

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