Nine years after NASA spacecraft New Horizons launched, it has given us the most detailed photograph of Pluto ever taken. NASA posted the photo to Instagram this morning.

SNEAK PEEK of gorgeous Pluto! The dwarf planet has sent a love note back to Earth via our New Horizons spacecraft, which has traveled more than 9 years and 3+ billion miles. This is the last and most detailed image of Pluto sent to Earth before the moment of closest approach - 7:49 a.m. EDT today. This same image will be released and discussed at 8 a.m. EDT today. Watch our briefing live on NASA Television at: The high res pic will be posted on the web at: This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from the surface. Image Credit: NASA #nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons #solarsystem #nasabeyond #science

A photo posted by NASA (@nasa) on

New Horizons creates images of Pluto that are 1,000 times the resolution of the best telescopes on Earth, and will continue to photograph the dwarf planet as it flies by today. Tomorrow, NASA will release more images of Pluto that are 10 times the resolution of the photo they released today. It will take 16 months for NASA to download all of the data fully.

Cover image: Instagram