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

Kiran Moodley
Friday 17 July 2015 07:31 BST
Comments
A portrait from the final approach. Pluto and Charon display striking color and brightness contrast in this composite image from July 11, showing high-resolution black-and-white LORRI images colorized with Ralph data collected from the last rotation of Pl
A portrait from the final approach. Pluto and Charon display striking color and brightness contrast in this composite image from July 11, showing high-resolution black-and-white LORRI images colorized with Ralph data collected from the last rotation of Pl (NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

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.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in