Legend has it that on the evening of September 14th, 1928, a 26-year-old Walt Disney looked up in the sky and observed a glow unlike he had ever seen before. It was faint, but Disney was a known visionary — one with superhuman sight. Disney squinted, and through that squint he saw a planet. Squinting further, he saw on the surface of that planet a silhouette of a dog — one with its ears down, probably. A friendly dog. Disney quickly sketched what he saw but kept it secret for several years, until that space rock was observed by the rest of the population. He wouldn't have to wait long; on February 18th, 1930, the planet of Pluto was officially discovered by scientists, and just a few months later in September, a then-nameless cartoon bloodhound would track Mickey Mouse in the The Chain Gang. That dog, of course, was Pluto.
Now, some 31,714 days after Walt Disney first laid eyes on the now-dwarf planet (and 31,192 days after the rest of humanity found out), we finally see what he saw. Pluto's origins. Whoa. When NASA released its Instagram-exclusive photo of Pluto, it could've rotated it to any angle it wanted (of approximately 360 to choose from). It chose to honor the real founder of Pluto by presenting it as he clearly saw it. As a dog.
Well, I suppose *someone* had to do it eventually... From: http://t.co/fc19GgFn3B #Pluto #PlutoFlyby pic.twitter.com/pLPrjPwjQ2— Kayle Hansen (@CosmicKayle) July 14, 2015
.@NASA If this is a prank… #PlutoFlyby #Pluto @Disney pic.twitter.com/cXhYA5a1Fl— Eric Kaschyk (@ekaschyk) July 14, 2015
Mind = Blown pic.twitter.com/jYs2S6S7Az— Darth Vader (@DepressedDarth) July 14, 2015
It's really Pluto! pic.twitter.com/Ny5stq3YD5— Helge Bjørkhaug (@astrohelge) July 14, 2015
The best thing about the Pluto image from NASA today is the silhouette of Pluto the dog right on it. pic.twitter.com/hVqD5QTwGz— Scott Johnson (@scottjohnson) July 14, 2015
High Times was so excited that they forgot to add the Pluto annotations. Still available in the mind's eye, of course.
Congratulations to @NASA on the stunning #Pluto mission and photos! pic.twitter.com/fX0OirWMEW— HIGH TIMES (@HIGH_TIMES_Mag) July 14, 2015