NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker
True Colors of Pluto
This is the most accurate natural color image of Pluto taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. The diversity of geologic landforms on Pluto’s surface rivals that of Mars.
This natural-color image of Pluto results from refined calibration of data gathered by New Horizons' color Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The processing creates images that would approximate the colors that the human eye would perceive, bringing them closer to "true color" than the images released near the encounter.
This image was taken as New Horizons zipped toward Pluto and its moons on 14 July 2015, from a range of 35,445 kilometers. This single color MVIC scan includes no data from other New Horizons imagers or instruments added. The striking features on Pluto are clearly visible, including the bright expanse of Pluto's icy, nitrogen-and-methane rich "heart," Sputnik Planitia.