This image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Opposite hemispheres of Pluto are seen in these two views. Some of the variations across Pluto’s surface may be caused by topographic features such as basins, or fresh impact craters. However, most of the surface features, including the prominent northern polar cap, are likely produced by the complex distribution of frosts that migrate across Pluto’s surface with its orbital and seasonal cycles and chemical byproducts deposited out of Pluto’s nitrogen-methane atmosphere.
The picture was taken in blue light when Pluto was at a distance of 3 billion miles from Earth.
Image and Text Credit: Alan Stern (Southwest Research Institute), Marc Buie (Lowell Observatory), NASA and ESA