RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RHYS LEWIS, AHS, DECD, UNISA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
New Horizons probe leaving the dwarf planet Pluto and its moon Charon. These objects lie in the Kuiper Belt, some 40 times further from the Sun than Earth is. Pluto and Charon orbit each other closely, with a separation of less than 20,000 kilometres. The centre of their mutual rotation lies outside the body of Pluto, and they are sometimes considered a double dwarf planet, rather than a planet and moon. Each is tidally locked to the other, presenting the same face and remaining fixed in the other's sky. New Horizons was launched in January 2006, and arrived at Pluto in July 2015. After this encounter it was redirected to pass the Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69, which it will reach on 1st January 2019.
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