One GIF Shows Just How Incredible the New Horizons Pluto Mission Really Is

One GIF Shows Just How Incredible the New Horizons Pluto Mission Really Is

On Tuesday morning, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft passed closer to the dwarf planet Pluto than any man-made object has done in history. In a mission that took over nine years, New Horizons has now traveled roughly 3 billion miles from its launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

Before doing so, the craft sent down a high-resolution image of Pluto, showing in stunning detail the surface of our farthest neighbor. 

Source: NASA

And Tuesday evening, NASA one-upped itself again by posting all the images we have of Pluto, from its grainy, blurry first sighting by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 to its clear image today.

There's more to come: NASA announced more photos from the fly-by will be released on Wednesday morning, showing Pluto in even greater detail before New Horizons continues on its journey through space.

Now that New Horizons has released new images from Pluto and its moon Charon, the GIF has been updated. It's like zooming in to see your house on Google Earth — except it's from 3 billion miles away.

Sometimes the global community tends to forget about the immensity and staggering promise of outer space, no matter how much of today's technology comes from NASA's research. These images represent what NASA does best: It instigates wonder. If nothing else, the New Horizons program does one thing everyone can appreciate. It makes us take a minute to look up.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

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.

MORE FROM

What does Sean Spicer’s resignation mean for the rest of Trump’s inner circle?

Many are already wondering if Spicer's departure could portend more shakeups to come.

How the messy New York City subways are hurting vulnerable New Yorkers the most

The New York subway system is a mess — and here's who's suffering the most.

Is Sean Spicer the shortest-serving White House press secretary in history?

Spicer served just six months as press secretary — there are some cabinet members in White House history who have served mere days.

5 stories from this week that aren't about OJ Simpson or Sean Spicer

The White House will be forced to release logs from Mar-a-Lago, and Democrats finally have an agenda.

According to Anthony Scaramucci’s Twitter, he believes in climate change and voted for Barack Obama

He also supports same-sex marriage. And abortion rights.

Trump is reportedly looking into pardoning himself. Here’s why that could backfire.

Can the president really pardon himself?

What does Sean Spicer’s resignation mean for the rest of Trump’s inner circle?

Many are already wondering if Spicer's departure could portend more shakeups to come.

How the messy New York City subways are hurting vulnerable New Yorkers the most

The New York subway system is a mess — and here's who's suffering the most.

Is Sean Spicer the shortest-serving White House press secretary in history?

Spicer served just six months as press secretary — there are some cabinet members in White House history who have served mere days.

5 stories from this week that aren't about OJ Simpson or Sean Spicer

The White House will be forced to release logs from Mar-a-Lago, and Democrats finally have an agenda.

According to Anthony Scaramucci’s Twitter, he believes in climate change and voted for Barack Obama

He also supports same-sex marriage. And abortion rights.

Trump is reportedly looking into pardoning himself. Here’s why that could backfire.

Can the president really pardon himself?