NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwest Research Institute
First Glimpse of Pluto
The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on 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. LORRI took three frames at 1-second exposures on both September 21 and September 24. Because it moved along its predicted path, Pluto was detected in all six images. The image appears pixilated because it was obtained in a mode that compensates for the drift in spacecraft pointing over long exposure times.