Mapping Pluto

Mapping Pluto
Mapping Pluto Pluto is not just a puny ball of ice and rock with a crazy orbit on the fringes of our solar system; it is a dynamic world undergoing dramatic surface and atmospheric changes. These recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) maps of Pluto, shown in a rotational order spaced 40 degrees of longitude apart, reveal marked differences from observations made in the early 1990s, when HST was new on the job. These invaluable maps will help scientists not only in interpreting more than 30 years of Pluto observations from other telescopes but also in picking out the best features on which to train New Horizons' cameras when it flies by the dwarf planet in 2015. M. Buie/NASA/STScI/HST

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