Beautiful photos of Pluto and its largest moon Charon are par for the course these days. NASA's New Horizons will make its closest flyby of the Pluto system on Tuesday, July 14, and as the spacecraft has sped toward its target we've been given our first real glimpses of the dwarf planet and its brood.

But it's been a few days since we've seen Pluto and its strange moon Charon in living color, and the view is pretty sweet.

NASA nabs new black and white images of Pluto all the time, and most of them are made public quite quickly. But color data comes from another camera -- four cameras, actually. For every single color photo, NASA actually has to download four still images, each taken by a different camera with a different color filter. And each of those individual frames of color are larger (data-wise) than a single black and white image. So even though New Horizons is now close enough to get stunning color resolution, those photos are simply more dear than those sent home in gray-scale.

The image above is from July 11, and on Tuesday morning we can expect an even clearer color photo. On July 15, we'll see the first images from the flyby -- so highly resolved that, were a comparable photo taken of the Earth, you'd be able to make out the lakes in New York's Central Park.

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