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Photos courtesy A. Stern (SwRI), M. Buie (Lowell Observatory), NASA, ESA

These maps, showing opposite hemispheres of Pluto, are based on Hubble Space Telescope observations from 1996. Even Hubble's keen eyesight just barely resolves Pluto, revealing some of the light and dark patches on its surface.

Pluto is a challenging telescope target because it is so tiny and so far away. It is only two-thirds the size of Earth's Moon, but 1,200 times farther away. These observations were made when Pluto was 3 billion miles from Earth.