For the past few weeks we have been enthralled with New Horizon’s images of the dwarf planet named Pluto. New Horizons was launched in January 2006 with a full payload of multi-spectral imaging and sample analysis equipment. It has taken approximately nine and half years to reach Pluto. And you thought it took you a long time to get the family organized for a family photo! With the images of Pluto history has been made as the U.S. is the first nation to complete the initial reconnaissance of our solar system.
Pluto is roughly three billion miles away and it takes approximately 4.5 hours for New Horizons to send an image of Pluto to Earth. Click – Snap – Wait 4.5 hours. The wait has been worth it! The images have been spectacular and they fill the mind with wonderment and create an almost visceral Star Trekian response to begin proclaiming, “Space: the final frontier…to explore strange new worlds…to boldly go where no man has gone before.” NASA’s science mission statement for New Horizons is: “a close-up look at these worlds from a spacecraft promises to tell an incredible story about the origins and outskirts of our solar system.” So, what incredible story do the images of Pluto tell us? Continue reading