A stunning first-of-its-kind photograph of Pluto has been beamed back to earth from NASA's New Horizons shuttle. The shuttle has traveled three billion miles over the course of nine years just to reach the furthest lying planet in our solar system. It has snapped a series of close-up pictures, that  are roughly one thousand times more detailed than any previous images, of the planet's surface on its way past. 

These are the first detailed photographs that scientists, and indeed the world, have ever seen of this mysterious and distant rock: "This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach," said NASA. "The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometres) from the surface."

Gorgeous Pluto! The dwarf planet has sent a love note back to Earth via our New Horizons spacecraft, which has traveled more than 9 years and 3+ billion miles. This is the last and most detailed image of Pluto sent to Earth before the moment of closest approach, which was at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday - about 7,750 miles above the surface -- roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India - making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth. This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from the surface. Images from closest approach are expected to be released on Wednesday, July 15. Image Credit: NASA #nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons#solarsystem #nasabeyond #science

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