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  1. ITV Report

New close-up images of Pluto released by NASA

NASA have released new photographs of Pluto taken by its New Horizons mission.

The spacecraft's Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) has uncovered evidence of exotic ices flowing across the planet's surface.

NASA’s New Horizons mission has found evidence of exotic ices flowing across Pluto’s surface. Credit: NASA

Mission co-investigator John Spencer said "We’ve only seen surfaces like this on active worlds like Earth and Mars....I'm really smiling."

The new close-up images also reveal signs of recent geologic activity, something scientists hoped, but didn't expect to find.

The new images also reveal signs of recent geologic activity. Credit: NASA

When close-up images were combined with colour data collected by the New Horizons scientists, the result was a much more colourful picture of the dwarf planet.

New Horizons scientists have enhanced color images to show differences in Pluto’s surface. Credit: NASA

Four images by the New Horizons spacecraft were combined with the colour data to create this enhanced colour view.

The heart shape suggests a region of ice. The two bluish-white 'lobes' that extend to the southwest and northeast of the heart point to the ice moving.

The images, were taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 kilometers) away from the planet.