11. Pluto
The surface of the dwarf planet Pluto constructed from NASA Hubble Space Telescope images
Pluto movie
Photo montages of Pluto from images taken by the Hubble Telescope
The surface of the dwarf planet Pluto constructed from NASA Hubble Space Telescope images

The surface of the dwarf planet Pluto constructed from NASA Hubble Space Telescope images

Courtesy of NASA, ESA, and M. Buie/Southwest Research Institute

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/pluto-20100204.html


This is the most detailed view to date of the entire surface of the dwarf planet Pluto, as constructed from multiple NASA Hubble Space Telescope photographs taken from 2002 to 2003. The center disk (180 degrees) has a mysterious bright spot that is unusually rich in carbon monoxide frost. In terms of surface color and brightness Hubble reveals a complex-looking and variegated world with white, dark-orange and charcoal-black terrain. The overall color is believed to be a result of ultraviolet radiation from the distant sun breaking up methane that is present on Pluto's surface, leaving behind a dark and red carbon-rich residue.