Pluto exploration expands to New Horizons

A dot 3 billion miles away is starting to become clearer with the first high-resolution images of a has-been planet.

Exploring Pluto has been out of reach. That is, until now. 

“All of our lives, Pluto has been a tiny dot, and now it’s a real world we can explore,” said Charles Telesco, the UF Department of Astronomy chair.

Almost a decade ago, NASA sent New Horizons shuttling through space with the ashes of its discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh. The craft’s purpose is to see what Pluto is like by examining its composition, color, temperature, geography and “what kinds of trials and tribulations” it has had to go through, Telesco said.

Examining Pluto and its moons is important because they show us what the solar system was like long ago, he said.  

Although studying far-away places like Pluto may seem trivial, Telesco said every piece of research helps solve part of a greater puzzle — how the solar system came to be.  

Read more here.

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