Time for a topical post. Just look at that picture. WOW. That is the closest shot we’ll get of Pluto. It was taken by the New Horizons spacecraft, which set off from Earth in January 2006 – it took over 9 years to get to Pluto, which is about 4.5 billion kilometres away.
Some facts New Horizon has discovered:
– Pluto has a diameter of 2370km, which is about a quarter of Earth’s diameter (at 12742km)
– Charon, Pluto’s largest moon has a diameter of 1208kmm (which is smaller than ours, which is around 3476km)
– Pluto also has four other, much smaller moons; Styx, Nix, Kerboros and Hydra
Most of the data is yet to be collected as the spacecraft completes its flyby, and so over the next few weeks and months we should expect to get some really exciting news from NASA.
This expedition marks the first complete surveillance of all the planetary bodies in the solar system. There is a programme on BBC called Sky at Night which will be showing a special programme called Pluto Revealed next Monday (20th July) which I hope you will all watch!