Join Donate

The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

New Horizons' first color map of Pluto's surface

New Horizons' first color map of Pluto's surface

Click to view full image

NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI

New Horizons' first color map of Pluto's surface
This map of Pluto, created from images taken from June 27-July 3, 2015, by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons, was combined with lower-resolution color data from the spacecraft's Ralph instrument taken on June 25. The center of the map corresponds to the side of Pluto that will be seen close-up during New Horizons' July 14 flyby. The elongated dark area informally known as "the whale," along the equator on the left side of the map, is one of the darkest regions visible to New Horizons. It measures 3,000 kilometers in length. Directly to the right of the whale’s "snout" is the brightest region visible on the planet, which is roughly 1,600 kilometers across. This may be a region where relatively fresh deposits of frost—perhaps including frozen methane, nitrogen and/or carbon monoxide—form a bright coating.

Most NASA images are in the public domain. Reuse of this image is governed by NASA's image use policy.

Original image data dated on or about July 3, 2015

Explore related images: New Horizons, trans-neptunian objects, Pluto, pretty pictures, dwarf planets beyond Neptune

Comments & Sharing
More Images
astronaut on Phobos
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan
Pretty Pictures

Support the Bruce Murray Space Image Library and help us share the wonders of other worlds.

Donate