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Historic New Horizons Flyby of Pluto

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, launched in 2006, made astronomy history today as it flew by Pluto, camera at the ready—and scientists around the world watching and waiting for early pictures of the dwarf planet and its moons.

NASA Photo / New Horizons, July 14, 2015 -- NH_Approach_720.png
Photo: Pluto. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

After nine years in space and having traveled more than three billion miles, New Horizons is the first spacecraft from Earth to reach Pluto. Its historic flyby today gives it mere hours in range of Pluto to gather all kinds of new data for scientists. The photos New Horizons is taking will provide the closest look at Pluto to date, photos that are 1,000 times higher resolution than those taken with the Hubble Space Telescope.

Stay in orbit today with Pluto and New Horizons news:

Making Connections

For students who get excited about space science based on today's photos and news reports, or for students already interested in space science, student projects like these from the Science Buddies astronomy area are a great way to explore:

Many projects and questions related to space science are related to the analysis of data from big data sets. For more information on student science projects involving big data, see Explore the World of Big Data with Your Science Project.

See also: Rosetta Pulls Alongside Jupiter Family Comet: Student Space Science Projects.

Careers in Space Science

Curious about space-oriented career paths and STEM careers for those who love astronomy and space? For an inside look at some of the team members working on the New Horizons mission, see The Women who Power NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto (NASA).

Science Buddies Project Ideas and resources in Astronomy are supported by Northrop Grumman.


Free science fair projects.