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News Release Archive:

News Release 194 of 939

February 4, 2010 01:00 PM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2010-06

New Hubble Maps of Pluto Show Surface Changes

Technical facts about this news release:

About the Object
Object Name: Pluto
Object Description: Dwarf Planet
Distance: Pluto is on an eccentric orbit that varies between 29.6 AU and 49.3 AU from the Sun. The average distance during the time of these observations was 30.6 AU (Jan. 2003). In 2010, Pluto is 31.8 AU from the Sun and moving away. It will reach its furthest distance from the Sun in 2130.
Dimensions: Pluto has a diameter of roughly 1,440 miles (2,320 km) at the equator.
About the Data
Data Description: The image was created from Hubble data from proposals 5330: A. Stern (Southwest Research Institute), L. Trafton (University of Texas, Austin), and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute); and 9391: M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute), W. Grundy (Lowell Observatory), and E. Young, L. Young, and A. Stern (Southwest Research Institute). The science team comprises: M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute), W. Grundy (Lowell Observatory), and E. Young, L. Young, and A. Stern (Southwest Research Institute).
Instruments: ACS/HRC FOC
Exposure Date(s): June 2002 - June 2003 June 1994
Filters: F435W (B) and F555W (V) F278M (278nm) F410M (410nm)
About the Release
Release Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Buie (Southwest Research Institute)
Release Date: February 4, 2010
Color: The image is a composite of separate exposures made by the ACS/HRC instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope. Two filters were used to sample broad wavelength ranges. The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic image. In this case, the assigned colors are:
F435W (B) blue
F555W (V) green
Orientation/Scale: