While the world sat waiting for exclusive photographs of the dwarf planet Pluto captured by NASA spacecraft New Horizons, it was Instagram, the popular photo sharing service that got the big ‘scoop’.
— NASA (@NASA) July 14, 2015
Yes, Instagram users got the exclusive sneak-peek of the Pluto photograph that has been making headlines since Tuesday. NASA’s Instagram account has a massive 3.7 million follower list and within the first few hours, the photograph was bombarded by ‘likes’ and comments.
Off late, the premier space agency has been known to be very active on social media, sharing posts, photographs and news on popular accounts like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. NASA’s social media manager John Yembrick was quoted by Wired saying that it was “important to engage new audiences.” However, it is rumoured that this is the first time the space agency has singled out a website/medium to share the news. Usually, NASA posts news of its latest developments on its website.
The photograph was released after the New Horizons spacecraft completed a successful flyby of a planet, heard little about and located a gazillion miles away from our planet. Moving faster than any spacecraft ever built — at a speed of about 30,800 miles per hour (49,570 kph) — the flyby happened at 7:49 am (1149 GMT), with the probe running on auto-pilot. From Stephen Hawking to US President Barack Obama, everyone has been praising the space agency’s latest achievement.
And to those who were unimpressed by the image, NASA says, ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet.’ On Wednesday, the space agency is set to release more images that will capture Pluto in finer detail. It will be interesting to see whether Instagram will have the luxury of getting the head-start once again.