NASA's latest Pluto images actually show a planet

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NASA's latest Pluto images actually show a planet

At last, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is sending back images of Pluto that look (slightly) better than brown blobs or pixel art. The probe has delivered a new batch of images from between 7.8 million to 9.2 million miles away, or close enough that the dwarf planet is starting to reveal some meaningful detail. There's still no explanation for those giant spots, but it's evident that there's a "continuous swath" of dark ground near the equator. And if you'd like pictures that are better than fuzzy, you might not have to hold out for too much longer. New Horizons should be considerably closer when it recovers from its recent glitch, and the expected July 14th flyby should produce a ton of extra detail.

[Image credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI]

Pluto in black and white
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