1. Because Pluto is only two-thirds the size of our moon and 3 billion miles away, it is not visible without a telescope.
2. But, from the flyby distance of 7,750 miles, the New Horizons spacecraft has provided new perspectives of Pluto.
3. One giant surprise on Pluto: mountains about 11,000 feet high. The mountains are probably composed of water ice.
5. With Pluto's temperature at nearly 400 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, the water ice behaves like bedrock.
6. Pluto's moon Charon shows cliffs and trough 4 to 6 miles deep and 600 miles long.
7. This suggests widespread fracturing of Charon's crust.
TAG: Data from the seven instruments aboard New Horizons will provide years of study and will help rewrite textbooks about Pluto.
Night Sky image: Thomas Luong