Pluto is pictured from a million miles away in this July 11, 2015 handout image from New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). REUTERS/NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI/Handout via Reuters
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CAPE CANAVERAL, United States: Little Pluto is a little bigger than anyone imagined.On the eve of NASA's historic flyby of Pluto, scientists announced Monday that the New Horizons spacecraft has nailed the size of the faraway icy world.Measurements by the spacecraft set to sweep past Pluto Tuesday indicate the diameter of the dwarf planet is 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers), plus or minus 12 miles (19 kilometers). New Horizons' 3 billion-mile (4.8 billion-kilometer), 9½-year journey from Cape Canaveral, Florida, culminates Tuesday morning when the spacecraft zooms within 7,767 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto at 31,000 mph (49,900 kph).Discovered in 1930, Pluto is the last planet in our solar system to be explored. It was a full-fledged planet when New Horizons rocketed away in 2006, only to become demoted to dwarf-planet status later that year.New Horizons has already beamed back the best-ever images of Pluto and its big moon Charon on the far fringes of the solar system.
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