Pluto: Watch how far we've come in three-billion-mile journey to the dwarf planet

Video: Watch how far our understanding of Pluto has evolved since the 1930s

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The Independent Online

It's not just that Nasa's New Horizons had to travel three billion miles and nine years to reach Pluto to ensure a history-making flyby visit; we've come a long way in our general perception about what the dwarf planet actually looks like.

Long-awaited images of Pluto were unveiled this week by the unmanned spacecraft, New Horizons, after its long journey across space.

US astronomer Clyde Tombaugh spied discovered Pluto in 1930 and only now have scientists managed to get the most breathtakingly clear images of the dwarf planet.

Nasa has now released a fascinating sequence of images showing how far human understanding of Pluto has evolved since the 1930s. American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh spied the frozen, faraway world on the edge of the solar system in 1930.

Nasa named the heart-shaped region of Pluto “Tombaugh Regio” in celebration of the dwarf planet’s pioneering discoverer Tombaugh.

The heart-shaped bit of Pluto has become an iconic symbol of the planet, since it was first seen in pictures sent back by the New Horizons craft.

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