The View from New Horizons: A Full Day on Pluto-Charon

Explanation: The Pluto-Charon Dance: This close up look at Pluto and Charon, taken as part of the latest optical navigation campaign from Jan. 25-31, 2015, comes from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. Pluto and Charon were observed for an entire rotation of each body; a day on Pluto and Charon is 6.4 Earth days. The first of the images was taken when New Horizons was about 3 billion miles from Earth, but just 126 million miles (203 million kilometers) from Pluto, which is about 30% farther than the distance between the Earth and the Sun. The last frame came 6 and a half days later, with New Horizons more than 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) closer.


Image credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.