Research Box Title. Pluto New Horizons snapped this image from 476,000 miles away from Pluto's surface. Pluto and Charon A picture of Pluto and its largest moon, taken during New Horizons' final approach. This is the first image-based surface map of Pluto. Pluto's status as a planet was always controversial in astronomy circles. However, from the preliminary photos of Pluto’s surface, these scientists have found far fewer craters than they expected. The first well resolved picture of Pluto's small moon Hydra reveals an elongated body with a surface predominantly made of water-ice. Earlier wide-field views of half of Pluto’s surface seem to indicate a few craters, but the first close-up region examined appeared to have no craters. This map was assembled by image-processing software from separate blue-light images of Pluto's disk taken with the Hubble Space Telescope. New Horizons Returns First-Ever Photo of Pluto's Surface NASA/JHAPL/SWRI Here is New Horizons' newest image of Pluto, sent from the planet yesterday and released early this morning . This New Horizons blog is a team effort between Cathy Olkin, the co-principal investigator of the New Horizons Ralph instrument, and Ralph instrument engineer Eddie Weigle. Craters appear to be the results of collisions with smaller bodies. Hubble imaged nearly the entire surface as Pluto rotated in late June and early July 1994. NASA today released the most detailed set of images ever taken of the distant dwarf planet Pluto. The images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope show an icy and dark molasses-colored, mottled world that is undergoing seasonal changes in its surface color and brightness.