Earthlings have had a soft-spot for Pluto ever since it was deemed "not really a planet" in 2003, and it looks like the little guy is finally returning the love.
In a new photo taken from the first space mission to explore the "dwarf planet," Pluto shows a 1,200-mile "large heart-shaped bright area" on its right side, NASA officials reported.
Pluto's first closeup as something more than a colorful blotch was taken from about 5 million miles away and is the result of a more than nine-year, three-billion-mile journey by the New Horizons spacecraft, which even tweeted out a nod to the heart on Thursday.
The scientists behind New Horizons say the best is yet to come. Next Tuesday, the spacecraft will get as close as it ever will to the planet, providing the most detailed images of Pluto NASA has ever taken.
“The next time we see this part of Pluto at closest approach, a portion of this region will be imaged at about 500 times better resolution than we see today,” Jeff Moore, geology, geophysics and imaging team leader at NASA’s Ames Research Center, said in a press release. “It will be incredible!”