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Pluto, moon come into view with 1st clear pictures
This is the same image of Pluto and Charon from July 8, 2015; color information obtained earlier in the mission from the Ralph instrument has been added. - photo by Natalie Crofts
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. The beloved dwarf planet Plutos appearance is dazzling in its long-awaited photo shoot.

The first clear photos of the dwarf planet and its largest moon, Charon, were released by NASA Thursday. The space agencys New Horizons spacecraft is closing in on the two icy objects, with its nearest encounter scheduled for Tuesday morning.

The images of the duo were captured by the spacecraft late Wednesday from a distance of about 3.7 million miles, according to NASA. While Pluto appears to be a reddish color, Charon is gray.

These two objects have been together for billions of years, in the same orbit, but they are totally different, said Southwest Research Institute principal investigator Alan Stern in a statement. The two objects are composed of different materials, and Pluto has an atmosphere while Charon does not.
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