BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — NASA has been sending spacecrafts all over the solar system for years, collecting images of moons, planets and stars. Until Wednesday, the federal agency, has not been able to collect high-resolution, clear images of Pluto.
The pictures were taken by a spacecraft called New Horizons which did a Pluto fly-by in mid-July.
“We’re getting back the first high-resolution images of Pluto,” says Kevin Williams, the Director at the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium. “Anytime we explore somewhere new and see something for the first time, it’s historic.”
Williams says Pluto is the last known object in our solar system which NASA hasn’t been able to get these high-resolution picture of in the past. The Hubble Telescope got pictures of the dwarf planet in 1994 but Williams says they turned out blurry.
“Pluto is the last unvisited body in the solar system,” says Williams. “It’s unlikely that anytime there will be another place that we haven’t been to that we will see for the first time.”
The dwarf planet is smaller than Earth’s moon and takes almost 250 years to orbit the sun. Due to its distance, the surface is mainly ice and the pictures could reveal a lot more than originally expected.
“Where Pluto is in that part of the solar system, there are frozen objects that probably haven’t changed much since the solar system formed,” says Williams. “It allows us to understand more about where we are in the universe.”