New Horizons Snaps a Final Shot of Pluto
So long, dwarf planet!
Since its stellar flyby, New Horizons may have moved on from Pluto, but it took one last picture before it left. Today, NASA released an image taken by the probe before it whizzed off into the solar system’s frigid outskirts.
In the picture, Pluto is backlit by the sun, and its hazy atmosphere creates a light ring around the dwarf planet, NASA said in the release. New Horizons took the picture around midnight on July 15, 2015. At the time, the robotic probe was 1.25 million miles away from the tiny former planet. Still, the image is detailed enough that if scientists zoom in they’ll be able to see structures as small as 12 miles across on Pluto’s surface.