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Here's The Clearest Picture Of Pluto We've Got So Far

The New Horizons spacecraft is actually close enough to see Pluto's surface features. But it still kind of looks like a video game pixel.

Posted on April 29, 2015, at 7:22 p.m. ET

The New Horizons team released these images today:

NASA / Via

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft launched in 2006 and traveled almost three billion miles. There's only eleven more weeks to go until it reaches Pluto, but its already capturing fascinating images of Pluto's surface taken at a distance of 93 million to 64 million miles away.

โ€œThese incredible images are the first in which we can begin to see detail on Pluto, and they are already showing us that Pluto has a complex surface," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern in a NASA press release.

According to Stern, the images show us that Pluto is tipped on its side like Uranus, and we're able to see one of its moons (Charon) orbiting around it. The other moons are too faint too see. "Pluto is rotating before us like a chicken on a barbecue spit," he said in today's press conference.

Stern mentioned that the bright spots we see may be evidence of a polar ice cap, but we won't know for sure until we have more data. We already do know that Pluto's color is somewhat reddish, however.

โ€œWe can only imagine what surprises will be revealed when New Horizons passes approximately 7,800 miles above Plutoโ€™s surface this summer,โ€ said Hal Weaver, the missionโ€™s project scientist.

*Waits patiently for 11 weeks.*