Magazine

Jul 14, 2015

Photographing Pluto

Photographing Pluto

More than nine years after its launch, a U.S. spacecraft sailed past Pluto on Tuesday, capping a 3 billion mile (4.88 billion km) journey to the solar system's farthest reaches, NASA said. The craft flew by the distant "dwarf" planet at 7:49 a.m. after reaching a region beyond Neptune called the Kuiper Belt that was discovered in 1992. The achievement is the culmination of a 50-year effort to explore the solar system.
The closest photo was still taking from 476,000 miles away.

Photographing Pluto
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Pluto and its moon Charon are pictured from about 6 million kilometers in this NASA handout photo NASA/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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Pluto is pictured from a million miles away in this July 11, 2015 handout image NASA/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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Members of New Horizons science team react to seeing spacecraft's last and sharpest image of Pluto before closest approach later in the day at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel NASA/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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Members of the New Horizons science team react to seeing the spacecraft's last and sharpest image of Pluto before closest approach later in the day at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel NASA/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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Members of the New Horizons science team react to seeing the spacecraft's last and sharpest image of Pluto before closest approach later in the day at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel NASA/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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NASA officials hold news conference as the New Horizons spacecraft approaches a flyby of Pluto at the Applied Physics Laboratory MIKE THEILER/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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Image of Pluto from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft NASA/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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NASA officials cheer New Horizons spacecraft's flyby of Pluto at the Applied Physics Laboratory MIKE THEILER/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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Pluto nearly fills the frame in this black and white image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015 when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface and released on July 14, 2015. NASA/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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New close-up image of Pluto is released by NASA HANDOUT/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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ew details of Pluto’s largest moon Charon are revealed in this image from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager HANDOUT/REUTERS

Photographing Pluto
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Pluto's largest moon Charon is shown in this NASA handout image NASA/REUTERS

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