Image of the Day: NASA probe snaps first full-color photo of Pluto

Contributed by
Apr 16, 2015

The image above might not look like much, but it's actually the first of what will become a series of history-making images from NASA's New Horizons space probe. It's the first color photo of the dwarf planet Pluto (the larger orb) and its moon Charon, taken from more than 70 million miles away by New Horizons. 

Until this image, the best way we had of photographing Pluto was the Hubble Space Telescope, which can't give us much in the way of close-ups, but New Horizons is about to change that. Over the next few months, it will fly closer and closer to the dwarf planet until it flies right past it on July 14, when it will be able to return color photos of not just Pluto, but its surface details. It'll be the best close-up view of another planetary body we've had since Voyager 2 flew by Neptune in the '80s.

The New Horizons flyby will also make history in another way: When it passes Pluto, it will mean that every one of the "classical nine" planets in our solar system has been visited at least once by a manmade space probe. 

(Via BBC)

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