Pluto and Charon. Photo: NASA
Pluto and Charon. Photo: NASA

Astonishing images reveal Pluto is Mars-like red

ASTONISHING images taken from Nasa's New Horizon's spacecraft have shown for the first time that Pluto is red like Mars.

Scientists were expecting to find a dark, icy world, but the first close up shots sent back from the probe show a rusty tint.

Nasa posted a stunning new image of Pluto on Instagram, taken by New Horizons from a distance of 476,000 miles. The closest ever picture of Pluto taken by Nasa as it approached the new red planet.

It clearly shows the dwarf planet's surprising Mars-like reddish hue, and the enigmatic heart-shaped feature on its surface that has already become Pluto's calling card on the internet.

The nine-year mission to Pluto reached its climax on Tuesday when New Horizons flew close to the dwarf planet before journeying into the Wild West of space - the Third Zone.

Nasa scientists played The Final Countdown, by 1980s rock band Europe, to mark the historic occasion (the US is the only nation to have visited every planet in the solar system).

More on this at the NZ Herald


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