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EarthSky // Science Wire, Space Release Date: Aug 16, 2014

New video of Pluto and giant moon Charon

NASA’s Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft created this new video of stills taken of the Pluto-Charon system over five days last month.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, on its way towards Pluto, will reach its closest approach next July. This past July, the spacecraft snapped the big dwarf planet and its nearby moon for five days (July 19th-24th, 2014). Charon is 750 – 753 miles in diameter, the largest known moon compared to the size of its host planet. Some consider Pluto-Charon a binary planet.

The Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft was brought out of hibernation in July for a series of engineering and navigation checks. They will continue until the end of August when New Horizons will go back into hibernation until mid-January 2015. Afterwards, the spacecraft will be kept active right up until after the historic Pluto system encounter on Tuesday, July 14, 2015. Read more about the New Horizons mission