We are making history now. For the first time we are seeing the “dwarf” planet Pluto and its moon Charon in high definition. Photographs from the past were pixelated and pretty much useless in regards to seeing the terrain of this alien icy world. Thanks to NASA’s New Horizons probe which was launched on January 19, 2006, we are not getting beautiful images of Pluto and Charon.
New Horizons is inching close and closer traveling at around 40,000 MPH sending us amazing photos. It is set to get near Pluto at around 6,300 miles which will provide photos of the surface similar to that of Google map’s photos of the island of Manhattan. The probe is about the size of a piano and weighs a ton. So far, we see Pluto is in, fact small. Its moon Charon is about 25% the size of Pluto. New Horizons was able to capture Charon orbiting Pluto causing a “wobble” as the two wrestle with each other’s gravitational pulls.
IN the images we have received so far, Pluto looks like a tan color. It has complex geological features, some of which look like a giant heart and whale. There is so much we can learn as New Horizons gets close. This is an exciting time for humanity. Some speculate that Pluto may be the moon of another larger planet. We are not sure, but so far it looks like Pluto is not influenced by any other larger structure. Here are some photos New Horizons has sent us.