More Than 3 Billion Miles Later, The First Ever Photo Of Pluto's Surface Is Here

July 14, 2015

In 2006, NASA launched a piano-sized spacecraft called "New Horizons" with the goal of capturing images very close to Pluto's surface. As of July 14, 2015, we officially have our first up-close photos of the ex-planet.

Nasa pluto photos
Credit: NASA

NASA shared the photo above on Instagram along with this caption:

"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."

The incredible image is part of a bigger mission to learn a lot more about the icy dwarf planet billions of miles away.

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