Pluto looks beautiful in a detailed photo released by NASA

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NASA has released the first ever detailed photo of the surface of Pluto, taken by New Horizons Spacecraft on July 13.

The spacecraft’s journey has taken nearly ten years, and it has traveled 4.8 billion kilometres in the process, hurtling through space at unprecedented speeds. The image was snapped while New Horizons was 766,000 kilometres above Pluto.

SNEAK PEEK of gorgeous Pluto! The dwarf planet has sent a love note back to Earth via our New Horizons spacecraft, which has traveled more than 9 years and 3+ billion miles. This is the last and most detailed image of Pluto sent to Earth before the moment of closest approach – 7:49 a.m. EDT today. This same image will be released and discussed at 8 a.m. EDT today. Watch our briefing live on NASA Television at: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv The high res pic will be posted on the web at: http://www.nasa.gov. This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from the surface. Image Credit: NASA #nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons #solarsystem #nasabeyond #science

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on

 

The team is understandably thrilled with how the mission is shaping up after so many years.

“The exploration of Pluto and its moons by New Horizons represents the capstone event to 50 years of planetary exploration by NASA and the United States,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

“Once again we have achieved a historic first. The United States is the first nation to reach Pluto, and with this mission has completed the initial survey of our solar system, a remarkable accomplishment that no other nation can match.”

Pluto was first discovered by a farmer’s son in Kansas in 1930 and little has been known about it ever since. Now, New Horizons is allowing NASA to discover basic aspects about the ex-planet that have been previously unavailable, such as its diameter, which is 2,370 kilometres.

While the spacecraft was flying by Pluto, NASA staff were clapping and celebrating.

 

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Lauren Sundstrom Lauren is a Staff Writer and Projects Assistant at Vancity Buzz. She is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast and Online Journalism program. She loves reporting on breaking news and lifestyle content. If you feel like you have a story that needs to be told, fire her a tweet.
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