You're Going to Heart What Scientists Just Discovered on Pluto

As Mic reported Tuesday, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is nearing closer to Pluto after a nearly decadelong and 3 billion-mile trip across the solar system. In three days, we get to see what scientists have been seeking for decades: the closest-ever look at our beloved dwarf planet. 

Mashable made a video that shows how our view of Pluto has become clearer over time:

Source: YouTube

As New Horizons nears its July 14 fly-by, scientists are beginning to see detailed images of the planet. One of the coolest findings is a massive heart shape rising from the bottom of the globe.

According to a release from NASA on Thursday, there's a 1,860-mile-long dark feature on the planet's equator unofficially called "the whale." Next to it is a bright spot, an area 1,200 miles across that has a dip in the top just like a heart. 

"Pluto almost seems to know we're coming to say hi," wrote the Washington Post's Rachel Feltman.

But that's not even the most exciting part. These images are only going to get clearer. "The next time we see this part of Pluto at closest approach, a portion of this region will be imaged at about 500 times better resolution than we see today," said Jeff Moore, Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team leader of NASA's Ames Research Center, in a statement. "It will be incredible!"

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Max Plenke

Max Plenke is a staff writer at Mic, where he covers breaking news, climate science, health and the future. His work has appeared in Esquire, GQ and Wallpaper. Send story tips to max@mic.com.

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