Even though 12 years have passed since Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet, the world is still excited to see the images from National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) New Horizons flyby.
The discovery of Pluto had a Kansas connection. Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered the dwarf planet, lived in Kansas for most of his childhood and attended the University of Kansas where he earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in astronomy.
Around 9 p.m. Eastern Time Tuesday, NASA received the call that the New Horizons successfully performed the first-ever flyby of Pluto.
“I know today we’ve inspired a whole new generation of explorers with this great success, and we look forward to the discoveries yet to come,” Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator, said. “This is a historic win for science and for exploration. We’ve truly, once again raised the bar of human potential.”
— NASA New Horizons (@NASANewHorizons) July 15, 2015
— CNN (@CNN) July 15, 2015
World awaits historic Pluto close-ups http://t.co/E7SXCeNhdC
— BBC SciTech (@bbcscitech) July 15, 2015
While many were very excited to see close up pictures, some tweeters expressed their true feelings about Pluto’s dwarf planet status.
Pluto is still a planet for me….. https://t.co/kK4EQuZp4T
— Robert Hamilton (@UTbuxfan) July 15, 2015
Pluto, in my heart you were never gone. pic.twitter.com/OsSX2lAEZB
— Jennifer Lynne (@gearheadgirl27) July 15, 2015
there's a heart on pluto. it's trying to win our love back and become a planet again 🙁 pic.twitter.com/l9jhyAWW1S
— ben taylor (@coolknifeguy) July 15, 2015
I feel bad for Pluto, he wanted to be part of something but everyone else only felt plutonic.
— Sahil Shah (@SahilBulla) July 15, 2015
And of course the Pluto jokes took over twitter as the picture release time drew near.
— Jace Larson, KPRC (@jacelarson) July 15, 2015
pluto ? pic.twitter.com/6K5KUS3aGi
— S H A N I (@shanyamoreno_) July 15, 2015
— Laughing Squid (@LaughingSquid) July 15, 2015
One tweeter asked a very important question regarding the delay between NASA receivng the images from New Horizons and the rest of the world.
Where are the newest Pluto images?? Are they holding them back because aliens????!!!!!??? #importantquestions
— The Nerdy Bird (@JillPantozzi) July 15, 2015
Regardless of the reason for the delay, the pictures will go live at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
— NASA (@NASA) July 15, 2015
— NYT Science (@NYTScience) July 15, 2015