Pluto in All Its Icy Glory


Many of our readers have probably seen this but here is the historic flyby shot of Pluto taken 478,000 miles from the planet’s surface by New Horizon.

These mountains rise as high as 11,000 feet and scientists believe that there is ample ice, meaning that water is available in large quantities.

NASA also released an image of Pluto’s largest moon Charon with cliffs and troughs stretching about 600 miles across its surface.

It took New Horizons nine years to travel the 3 billion mile trip to Pluto. It is incredibly exciting to be able to see Pluto in an actual picture of the farthest planet in our solar system . . . even if some insist it is a dwarf planet.


16 thoughts on “Pluto in All Its Icy Glory”

  1. Steve

    It’s going on 50 years since the moon walk. Perhaps in 50 more years we’ll find out what D.B. Cooper did with the money.

  2. Apparently the first flyby of Mars took place 50 years ago to the day. I wonder where we’ll be in the cosmic soup in another 50 years?

    I’d guess religion will keep us on the treadmill if our support of unregulated capitalism and Israel hasn’t caused WWIII. As a friend reminds, “I have high hopes and low expectations.”

  3. Darren, The desert outside Las Cruces can look like another planet. La Cruces is IMHO a nice town. New Mexico State is located there, and a college always gives a town some flavor and vitality. Alan Hale, who discovered the unfortunately infamous Hale-Bopp comet, is a NM State grad.

  4. This is a taxpayers accomplishment. Paying for what people should pay for themselves is no accomplishment and only creates more lazy people.

  5. Darren

    Are you sure that Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto? I thought Mickey Mouse discovered it and named it after his dog.

  6. Some people gripe about how taxpayer money is being spent no matter what it is for — even a spectacular human accomplishment. I suppose there will always be people who will piss on someone else’s pride.

  7. Can we hire a forensic accountant to tell us how much those photos cost the taxpayers? A few Americans do not like the taxpayers’ money which is spent dorking around in Afghanistan. Some do not like money paid out to Americans so they can eat or get their appendix removed by a doctor. Some do not like spending money on destroying gravestones at a cemetery. Some do not like spending money on bridges to nowhere like NYC. But this American dog does not like spending taxpayer money on trips to Pluto so that Plutocrats can brag about their photos.
    Go to that dump where they break up gravestones and photograph that!

  8. Thank you for the correction Rosieoboxer. I replaced the image.

  9. Wikipedia has an interesting fact on the discoverer of Pluto, Clyde Tombaugh

    Tombaugh died on January 17, 1997, when he was in Las Cruces, New Mexico, at the age of 90. A small portion of his ashes was placed aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. The container includes the inscription: “Interned herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the solar system’s ‘third zone’. Adelle and Muron’s boy, Patricia’s husband, Annette and Alden’s father, astronomer, teacher, punster, and friend: Clyde W. Tombaugh (1906–1997)”

  10. To paraphrase:
    Science flies you to Pluto, religion flies you into buildings.

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