We are about to see Pluto up close for the very first time

Pluto continues to be an elusive ball of rock and gas that’s floating around space, in and out of planetary status on numerous occasions, and is an object we have never been able to see all that well… until now.  The New Horizons spacecraft is set to get close enough to Pluto to send back some high resolution pictures to allow us to see Pluto like we have never seen her before.  The 9 and a half year 5 billion mile journey will be capped off with a flyby of the planet that is close enough to get pictures and measurements that many never thought possible just a couple decades ago.  In fact, the fly by research has already begun.  This picture was sent back to NASA from the spacecraft on the morning of July 8th.

While not nearly the quality that we are used to with smart phones and high definition, it is by far the clearest image we have ever seen of the planet and they are about to get a whole lot better.  When the spacecraft comes closest to Pluto next week, the resolution of the pictures taken will be 500 times better than you see in the image above.  This will give scientists an unprecedented look at the makeup of the small planet, along with its moons, hopefully giving us further insight in how our solar system formed and if there truly can be life on other planets.