These images were taken by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, and show four different “faces” of Pluto as it rotates about its axis. (Pluto’s “day” is 6.4 days long.) The images have been rotated to align Pluto’s rotational axis with the vertical. From left to right, the images were taken when Pluto’s central longitude was 17, 63, 130, and 243 degrees, respectively. The date of each image and the distance to Pluto are shown in the figure.
Pluto is almost a perfect sphere, but when a very large, dark region near Pluto’s equator appears near the day/night limb, it gives Pluto a false, squashed appearance
Image Credit: NASA