First Image Of Pluto Released (But Not Where You Might Think)

That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for Instagram.

NASA spacecraft New Horizons reached Pluto today after a 9-year voyage spanning 3 billion cosmic miles. The first photo of the dwarf planet was posted on NASA’s Instagram account one hour before its official public release this morning.

“We made an editorial decision to give the world a sneak peek of the image on Instagram. We feel it’s important to engage new audiences,” NASA social media manager, John Yembrick, tells Wired.

Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has largely remained a mystery because of its frosty surface and staggering distance from earth – it’s about 40 times further from the sun than we are.

This first image shows that Pluto is actually larger than scientists had anticipated – though not large enough to be carried out of the dwarf planet category.

The New Horizons craft will continue its reconnaissance for the next 5 months, so stay tuned for more out of this world images.

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