In January 2006, NASA launched a small space probe named New Horizons to Pluto, the only planet in our solar system at the time to have never been explored. It would take more than nine years for the probe to reach its destination. However, after just six months of travel, astronomers down on Earth made a controversial decision. Pluto had always been considered unique in its characteristics until similar bodies were discovered beyond Pluto, prompting NASA to redefine the word “planet.” August 24 of this year marks a decade since Pluto’s demotion to the new term “dwarf planet.”
Ultimately, New Horizons made it to Pluto in July 2015 and sent down many photographs. The probe remains in space to this day traveling the Kuiper Belt and gathering invaluable information for our NASA scientists. Be sure to check the BCLS events calendar this fall when the County Library will host a NASA scientist’s discussion on Mars and its human invaders.