The New Horizons probe has shed new light on a previously dark corner of our solar system. The spacecraft sent back new images of the dwarf planet Pluto, after passing by it from 7,767 miles (12,500 km). Pluto is the most distant object ever explored by humans. The pictures revealed a planet to be geographically active more recently than once thought. At the time of dinosaurs on Earth, about 100 million years ago, Pluto was still being formed. The planet shows relatively few craters, meaning its surface is relatively young. This new discovery indicates that other planets in the same area as Pluto might be worth exploring. There may be a lot more to learn from them about how planets form and develop. This mission will help make future missions easier, faster and cheaper.
Learn more about the mission to Pluto.
Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI.