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Space & Astronomy

Giant 'heart' spotted in close-ups of Pluto

July 10, 2015 | Comment icon 17 comments

NASA has revealed the closest shot yet of this icy and distant world. Image Credit: NASA
The latest photographs from New Horizons show a distinctive heart shape on the surface of Pluto.
Having fully recovered from its communications failure last week, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is now just four days away from its historic rendez-vous with the dwarf planet.

The latest images, which were received from the probe two days ago, show Pluto in more detail than ever before with intriguing dark patches and a lighter region shaped a bit like a giant love heart.

"It’s just juicier and juicier," said New Horizons scientist Hal Weaver. "The science team is just drooling over these pictures. If you look at the new pictures now, it’s already five to six times better resolution than what we’ve been able to get before."

New Horizons is currently heading towards its destination at a speed of 31,000mph and will record so much scientific data as it flies past Pluto on Tuesday that it will take months to transmit everything.

The endeavor marks the first time that Pluto has ever been observed up close and each new photograph that is returned shows new detail that nobody has ever seen before.

With everything going according to plan the chances are good that we will get to see some impressive views of this distant and enigmatic world in the very near future.

Source: The Guardian | Comments (17)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Infernal Gnu 7 years ago
Pluto Gets Some Respect Pareidolia has some seeing a dark whale headbutting a heart on Pluto, Where the romance of this distant world is yielding to technology, Once the farthest planet, now just a dwarf but its mystique remains, It was the first object to be dubbed “Planet X” before its discovery. Once it might even have been a possible escaped moon of Neptune, And though a class of dwarfs known as the “plutoids” was named for it, It’s not even the largest one, the newcomer Eris has it easily beat, But the asteroid Ceres may be most underrated of all, scientists admit. While it may be no gian... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by moon tide 7 years ago
Very interesting images in general. Pluto is finally emerging from the darkness after all these years hiding on the edges of the solar system and consolidating his rightful place among the rest of the "celestial objects." Hello, Pluto. You are not alone, my friend.
Comment icon #10 Posted by AstralHorus 7 years ago
After all the abuse Pluto has gotten from us humans..... It still loves us.... *tear* still a better love story then twilight.
Comment icon #11 Posted by XClashGames 7 years ago
"love and respect each other"? May I remind you what happened to every other major person (Ghandi, Lincoln, MLK, Malcolm X, John Lennon...) that told us to 'love thy neighbor' or be a peaceful race...they got assassinated.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Harte 7 years ago
Pluto, being Lord of the Underworld, set a trap for them. harte
Comment icon #13 Posted by socrates.junior 7 years ago
Are you posting that from Pluto, Harte? How did you get giant?
Comment icon #14 Posted by Hawkin 7 years ago
Maybe Pluto should be renamed Aphrodite.
Comment icon #15 Posted by aearluin 7 years ago
New "alien structure" posts and stories arriving any minute now...
Comment icon #16 Posted by JesseCuster 7 years ago
That was just dust on the lens.. yeah, dust on the lens, nothing to see here. wat
Comment icon #17 Posted by JesseCuster 7 years ago
So what about the other picture with the 4 massive black circles towards the bottom of Pluto?What about it?that all Nasa has to report? a shape of a heart. *claps with the backs of my hands*No, that isn't "all NASA has to report". It's not a NASA report, it's just an article about the heart shaped feature on Pluto and is far from everything that NASA has to say about Pluto.I find the dots more unusual.http://cnet1.cbsista...1afc/pluto1.jpg And here you can see the "dots" in more detail. If you had a bit of patience, you could have waited for more detailed pictures that were inevitably going to... [More]

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