The Final Images We Will Ever See of Pluto!
Pluto continues to divide scientific minds: Discovered in 1930, the celestial body was a permanent member of our planetary system for over 75 years. In 2006, however, the galactic turnaround followed: As more and more Pluto-like objects were identified in the Kuiper Belt, the International Astronomical Union decided to rethink the official planet definition. As a result, Pluto was placed in the newly opened ranks of dwarf planets, of which it has since become the largest known representative.
In view of the decades-long history of research and the great controversies surrounding Pluto, it seems all the more astonishing that for a long time nothing more than blurry images existed of the remote celestial body, making a detailed insight into this distant world impossible.
In order to finally change this, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft went to the remote realms of the dwarf planet on January 19, 2006, to study Pluto at close range for the first time. The transmission of the data that the unmanned spacecraft collected over Pluto during this time ended on October 25, 2016. Since then, New Horizons’ primary mission has been over – and when a spacecraft will next set off for the dwarf planet is currently only written in the stars.
The breathtaking images taken by the technical equipment during its mission therefore represent the last images of the former planet for an indefinite period of time. So today, let’s take a closer look at the fascinating photos and findings that New Horizons captured and revealed.
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