— Maxim Eristavi (@MaximEristavi) April 15, 2015
If you had to guess, what color would you say Pluto is? Brown? Yellow? Blue? Pink with polka dots?
NASA’s New Horizons, the fastest spaceship ever launched, has traveled longer and farther than any spacecraft in history (over nine years and nearly three billion miles). Its ultimate goal? To reach Pluto and perform a reconnaissance of the dwarf planet, gathering data and photographs that we’ve never had before.
Originally discovered in 1930, Pluto was listed as the ninth planet from the Sun until 2006, when the International Astronomical Union deemed it too lowly and unworthy. (Actually, it was the discovery of other dwarf planets like Eris and potentially Chiron that called for Pluto’s reclassification.)
Regardless of its title, Pluto is one of the most famous bodies in our Solar System, being the 10th-largest object to directly orbit the Sun.
While New Horizons won’t complete its flyby until July 14 (two day’s before Cheryl’s birthday), the spaceship gets closer every day, which means we’re constantly receiving new images.
Today, much to the excitement of the scientific community, New Horizons took the first “close-up” color images of the planet formerly known as Pluto, and the photo is… underwhelming.
Before you look, ask yourself if you’re ready:
— NASA (@NASA) April 14, 2015
Wow… it’s… thrilling.
The smaller object in the photo is Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, which is about the size of Texas. Fun fact: one year on Pluto is equal to 248 years on Earth, which means that the USA is less than one year old on Pluto, #perspective.
Remember, even though this image is considered “close,” it was taken from about 71 million miles away. Check in again on July 14 when we have some legit pictures!
— NASA HQ PHOTO (@nasahqphoto) April 15, 2015
— rohin g (@ohrohin) April 7, 2015
What do you think of this first, “close-up” look at Pluto? Anyone else still sad it’s not a planet?