Nasa mission to Pluto – in pictures


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A Nasa spaceship has snapped the last possible photos of Pluto’s mysteriously spotty side before it turns away into the darkness for decades.

New Horizons passed by the dwarf planet at just 12,500km above its surface on 14 July, taking lots of close-up photos on the way that scientists hope will help shed some light on the distant planet.

Take a look at the amazing imagery from the space:

Charon, Pluto's largest moon, in a image taken from a distance of 289,000 miles (466,000 kilometers)

A close-up image of a region near Pluto's equator reveals a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body

A portrait from the final approach - Pluto and Charon display striking color and brightness contrast

Pluto (R) and its moon Charon are pictured from about 6 million kilometers in this July 8, 2015 NASA handout photo from the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager

Pluto's newly-confirmed size, as if the dwarf planet were placed on top of Earth and viewed from a distance

A depiction of the New Horizons ship as it nears Pluto