In Pictures

In pictures: Journey through the planets

Nasa's New Horizons mission is sending back the most detailed images of Pluto ever seen. For more than 70 years, it was one of nine planets recognised in our Solar System, but it is now classed as a dwarf planet. Here, we take a journey through the planets and Pluto, with images taken by a selection of spacecraft sent out to explore.

Image copyright NASA
Image caption An enhanced image of Mercury shows the chemical, mineralogical, and physical differences between the rock on the surface.
Image copyright Magellan Project/JPL/NASA
Image caption The surface of Venus is shown in a computer-generated picture based on images from the Magellan orbiter in the 1990s, with colours added using information from the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 landers.
Image copyright NASA/ap
Image caption The Earth, as seen by the crew of Apollo 11 in July 1969.
Image copyright SPL
Image caption A colour-enhanced fish-eye view of Mars, made from a mosaic of images taken by a Viking orbiter
Image copyright NASA, ESA, and A. Simon
Image caption Jupiter, the largest of the planets, was captured by Hubble's Wide Field Camera Three.
Image copyright NASA/ESA/AP
Image caption A composite of two images taken by the Cassini spacecraft in May 2004 shows a wide view of Saturn.
Image copyright NASA/jpl
Image caption Nasa's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew past Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, in January 1986.
Image copyright NASA/JPL
Image caption Neptune, as seen from Voyager 2's narrow-angle camera. The picture was taken at a range of 4.4 million miles and shows the Great Dark Spot and its companion bright smudge.
Image copyright NASA
Image caption The most detailed view of Pluto yet seen has been taken by the New Horizons spacecraft. The latest data has provided more accurate information on the size and scope of Pluto. It is a little bigger than expected, about 80km wider than previous predictions, making it around two-thirds the size of our moon. In 2006, Pluto was relegated to the status of dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).