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A Sign of the Times? NASA Shares First Hi-res Photo of Pluto on Instagram

For those of you who don’t keep track of the millions of things NASA is doing in space, lately everyone has been keeping a close eye on New Horizon, a probe that’s been doing a fly-by of Pluto, the planet that’s not a planet (that’s messed up, right?), in order to take some hi-resolution photos and as of three hours ago, those images started coming in. But how did NASA share those images? On Instagram of course.

It’s certainly a sign of the times that NASA, instead of releasing a press release with accompanying images, or waiting for the images to be published in some scientific journal or publication, or even publishing it on its own website, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration took to social media to share its findings.

Though to be fair, NASA has over 3.5 million followers on Instagram so chances are the image, which is the most detailed picture of Pluto ever taken, has now been seen more than it would have on NASA’s website.

Speaking to Wired, The space agency’s social media manager John Yembrick said that the idea was to give the world “a sneak peek on Instagram,” and the agency feels it’s “important to engage new audiences.”

In case you missed it, here’s the full resolution image in all its orangey-red glory.

pluto hi res