PIA19688: Pluto and Charon in Color: Barycentric View (Animation)


Pluto and Charon in Color: Barycentric View (Animation)

Caption:

The first color movies from NASA's New Horizons mission show Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, and the complex orbital dance of the two bodies, known as a double planet. This near-true color movie was assembled from images made in three colors -- blue, red and near-infrared -- by the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera on the instrument known as Ralph. The images were taken on nine different occasions from May 29-June 3, 2015.

The movie is barycentric, meaning that both Pluto and Charon are shown in motion around the binary's barycenter -- the shared center of gravity between the two bodies as they do a planetary jig. Because Pluto is much more massive than Charon, the barycenter (marked by a small "x" in the movie) is much closer to Pluto than to Charon. Looking closely at the images in this movie, one can detect a regular shift in Pluto's brightness-due to the brighter and darker terrains on its differing faces.

Cataloging Keywords:

Name Value Additional Values
Target Pluto Charon
System Pluto
Target Type Dwarf Planet Satellite
Mission New Horizons
Instrument Host New Horizons
Host Type Flyby Spacecraft
Instrument Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC)
Detector
Extra Keywords Color, Infrared, Movie
Acquisition Date
Release Date 2015-06-11
Date in Caption 2015-06-03
Image Credit NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Source photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19688
Identifier PIA19688