Sequence showing improving Pluto views from Discovery to New Horizons flyby in 2015.
Source: NASA
Published: July 15, 2018

This animation combines various observations of Pluto over the course of several decades. The first frame is a digital zoom-in on Pluto as it appeared upon its discovery by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 (image courtesy Lowell Observatory Archives). The other images show various views of Pluto as seen by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope beginning in the 1990s and NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. The final sequence zooms in to a close-up frame of Pluto released on July 15, 2015.

Complete source list in order with image credits:

Pluto Discovery Plates, Lowell Observatory, 1930:​. Note: This image is property of the Lowell Observatory Archives. Any public use requires written permission of the Lowell Observatory Archives.

Hubble Space Telescope, 1996:

Hubble Space Telescope, 1994:

Hubble Space Telescope, 2011:

Hubble Space Telescope, 2002-2003:

New Horizons, April 9, 2015:

New Horizons, May 12, 2015:

New Horizons, June 2, 2015:

New Horizons, June 15, 2015:

New Horizons, July 1, 2015:

New Horizons, July 3, 2015:

New Horizons, July 8, 2015:

New Horizons, July 10, 2015:

New Horizons, July 11, 2015:

New Horizons, July 13, 2015:

New Horizons, July 14, 2015:

New Horizons, July 15, 2015:


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