Pluto-loving scientists are rejoicing. Thanks to the New Horizons spacecraft, humanity just got its first truly close-up views of the dwarf planet Pluto Wednesday, and they are incredible. But before the rest of the world got to see the huge ice mountains of Pluto or the dark spot on its large moon Charon, the researchers responsible for capturing those pictures got a preview.
Pluto may have been demoted from the big-planet table but on Wednesday, it was the dwarf planet's time in the spotlight. After travelling more than 5 kilometres in 9.5 years, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft survived its closest encounter.