Making History with the Pluto Fly By

Source: NASA

 It’s not very often these days we feel that a planetary fly-by really makes history, but today is a little different. This is the first high-res image ever to be beamed back from the furthest reaches of our Solar System. As the New Horizons probe has got closer and closer, the images have gone from blurry to showing us some outstanding features.Some time in the next 8 or 9 hours, NASA will receive massive amounts of data – including more photographs. Though we have wondered about the planetoid for 85 years (when it was discovered), until now it has remained largely a mystery – being relegated to “Dwarf Planet” only to have that argued about, it has been the subject of many academic debates. Whether it is a planet or a dwarf planet, it is small, with a surface area comparable to Russia (though the country is slightly larger).

This is a very humbling experience and I am wondering what implications this will have for science fiction in the coming years. For now, let’s simply enjoy the fruits of human endeavour.


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