Today is historic. Nasa’s New Horizon’s spacecraft, after 9 years of travel, will provide the closet views of Pluto that were not available before this day. The biggest surprises are that Pluto, like Mars, has a reddish hue, it has a heart-shape on it’s surface, and it’s larger than previously thought. New Horizons was launched in 2006. Pluto was dethroned to a dwarf-planet or “plutoid” and officially has an asteroid number. It didn’t qualify as a planet because of its size and orbit. Astronomers had clear qualifications for planets. It has to orbit around the Sun, be large enough to have a round shape, and no other objects can be in its orbit. Today’s evidence from New Horizon’s photos hopefully will reinstate Pluto’s status as a planet.
The probe will continue through the solar system after this quick flypast of Pluto.