After a 10-year journey, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto for just a few short hours in July 2015. It was going far too fast to enter an orbit around the dwarf planet—let alone land on it—but along the way it grabbed some pretty amazing photos of this mysterious world.
We've got a whole new view of our planet. The GOES-16 satellite, launched on November 19, sent back its first pictures of the Earth this week. The satellite—a joint project between NOAA and NASA—is designed to observe conditions here on Earth, capturing images of our planet in an unprecedented 16 channels of light. The different wavelengths will let scientists monitor atmospheric conditions on the planet, helping to improve NOAA's forecasts. It's a big jump forward from previous iterations of the geostationary GOES satellites, which regularly send back images and data of conditions on Earth.
To look up into the night sky is to gaze deep, deep into the past. Light moves fast, but not fast enough for us to get an instantaneous peek at the cosmos. So when we look at some of the glowing balls of plasma that light up our sky, we're actually seeing them as they looked thousands of years ago. Even the light from our own sun is eight minutes old before it reaches Earth.