NASA Teams Up With Instagram to Post a Photo of Pluto

Because how else would you share a picture these days?

The first surface image of Pluto debuted on Instagram this week, after NASA gave them an hour head start on the first picture. It was posted to Instagram at 7am, but posted to their actual website,, an hour later (along with the science that explains it)

“We made an editorial decision to give the world a sneak peek of the image on Instagram,” John Yembrick, NASA’s social media manager (yeah, that’s a real job) write to WIRED. “We feel it’s important to engage new audiences.”

NASA’s Instagram account isn’t a new thing – it’s got 3.5 million followers (that’s almost as much as Zac Efron, and more than MTV) and each pic gets a couple hundred thousand likes.

The picture of Pluto, though, seems like it’s the first time NASA has given a social media company first crack at a space photo, even if they only gave them 60 minutes. So, instead of pushing their work right to their website, pigeon-holing it, they marketed it to Instagram’s 300 million users. #trendsetting.

Check out the photo below:

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