Destination Pluto: NASA's New Horizons Mission in Pictures

Target: Pluto

NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

NASA's New Horizons probe has visited a place never before visited by a robotic probe from Earth: Pluto. In July 2015, the spacecraft completed a nearly-decade-long journey to fly by Pluto, and reveal humanity's first close-up look at the distant dwarf planet. See photos and images from the New Horizons mission to Pluto in this gallery.

Charon Seen by 'Plutoshine'


This image by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft shows the night side of Pluto’s biggest moon, Charon, against a star field, lit by faint reflected light from Pluto itself. The bright crescent on Charon's right side is a sliver of sunlit terrain; it is overexposed. New Horizons was about 100,000 miles (160,000 kilometers) beyond Pluto when it took the image on July 15, 2015.

Global Color Map of Pluto


This new, detailed global color map of Pluto is based on a series of three color filter images obtained by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera aboard New Horizons during the NASA spacecraft’s close flyby of Pluto in July 2015.

Halos on Pluto


Strange "haloed" craters can be seen on Pluto in these images of the dwarf planet from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. Read the Full Story.

Methane Snow on Pluto's Mountains


View of part of Pluto’s dark Cthulu region, captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015. The inset at left shows bright material coating the tops of Cthulu’s reddish mountains; the inset at right shows the distribution of methane ice in the area (light purple).

False-color Image of Pluto


New Horizons sees Pluto in truly psychedelic false color.

See photos and images from the New Horizons mission to Pluto in this gallery.

Sputnik Planum Western Region


This snapshot captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft shows the western region of the heart-shaped area informally known as Sputnik Planum, which has been found to be rich in nitrogen, carbon monoxide and methane ices. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC).

Sputnik Planum on Pluto and Vulcan Planum on Charon


The informally named Sputnik Planum on Pluto (top) and the informally named Vulcan Planum on Pluto's largest moon Charon (bottom).

Haze Above Pluto's Surface

NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Gladstone et al./Science (2016)

Layers of atmospheric haze above Pluto's surface are captured in this haunting image taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.

Enhanced Color View of Pluto


This enhanced color view of Pluto's surface diversity was created by merging Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) color imagery with Long Range Reconnaissance Imager panchromatic imagery.

Pluto's North Pole Canyons


The frozen canyons of Pluto's north pole are represented in enhanced colors in this image taken from the New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015. The surrounding terrain shows higher elevations in yellow and lower elevations in shades of blue-gray.

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