What an amazing time for space exploration. The picture of the solar system from my childhood is now complete, as seen in this great family portrait produced by Ben Gross, a research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and distributed via twitter.
I love this image because it shows each world in close-up, using some of the latest pictures from space exploration. As we celebrate seeing Pluto for the first time, it’s remarkable to think that this completes a 50 year task.
It has been NASA that has provided the first close-up views of all these worlds. Here’s the rundown:
- Mercury: Mariner 10 (1973)
- Venus: Mariner 2 (1962)
- Mars: Mariner 4 (1965)
- Jupiter: Pioneer 10 (1973)
- Saturn: Pioneer 11 (1979)
- Uranus: Voyager 2 (1985)
- Neptune: Voyager 2 (1989) and
- Pluto: New Horizons (2015)
But science never stays still. When New Horizons left Earth in January 2006, Pluto was a planet.… Read the rest