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Little world, big heart: Pluto stuns in New Horizons image

Little world, big heart: Pluto stuns in New Horizons image

Pluto may be a dwarf planet, but it’s got an out-sized heart. Before NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew past the icy world, it snapped and sent back this image showcasing the big, bright, heart-shaped feature covering a large part of the surface.

This was the final and most detailed snapshot before New Horizons’ closest approach early Tuesday morning, taken Monday when the spacecraft was a mere 476,000 miles from Pluto. It was captured in black and white using the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, or LORRI, and then colorized using lower-res data from the Ralph instrument -- "eyes" of the spacecraft.

The heart had...

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