Brighter, redder Pluto

Half marathon notice

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 March Cutty Sark and the museum car park will be closed for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. All other museums will be open as normal and DLR and rail links will be running. Find out about road closures

On Friday (5 Feb 2010) NASA released the most detailed images yet taken of Pluto. The photographs from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) show the dwarf planet's icy, mottled surface undergoing seasonal changes - the surface has become much redder and the illuminated northern hemisphere is getting brighter. The changes are probably due to surface ice sublimating to gas on the sunlit pole and then freezing again on the opposite pole as Pluto moves into the next phase of its 248-year seasonal cycle. Read the full story on NASA's website.

Hubble images of Pluto

Image: NASA / HST

Read the ROG's Pluto fact file