NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran

Scientists get as excited as anyone about seeing new pictures of the mysterious worlds that populate our vast Solar System—from Mercury’s day-and-night terminator to Pluto’s icy mountains.

For far longer than most people, astronomers imagined what these diverse planets, dwarf planets, and moons must look like from up close.
It’s true that planetary scientists such as Fran Bagenal are more interested in data than anything else, and this often goes far beyond pixels.

But as an astronomer who has been involved with many of NASA’s Solar System probes, from Voyager to New Horizons and Juno, Bagenal fully appreciates the value of images of capturing the public imagination.
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