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Spacecraft Returns Most Detailed Pictures Of Pluto Ever Seen

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NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been making its way toward the famous dwarf planet for the past nine years. Most of that time, the probe was in hibernation mode, but it recently “awoke” this past January prior to its flyby of the space rock, scheduled for July 14.

While everyone’s looking forward to July’s close encounter, New Horizons keeps giving us little presents along the way. Today, NASA released the most detailed photos yet of Pluto—this time, with its surface features coming into view. The images were taken between May 8 and May 12 from 50 million miles away, using New Horizons’ telescopic camera. According to NASA, a method called “image deconvolution” was used to sharpen the photos, revealing broad surface markings and a bright spot at Pluto’s pole (a polar ice cap, anyone?).

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“Spacecraft Returns Most Detailed Pictures Of Pluto Ever Seen”