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Keyword: pluto

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  • Global Mosaic of Pluto in True Color (highest resolution full-face photo released to date)

    07/25/2015 9:33:45 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 35 replies
    NASA ^ | 7/24/15
    Four images from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were combined with color data from the Ralph instrument to create this sharper global view of Pluto. (The lower right edge of Pluto in this view currently lacks high-resolution color coverage.) The images, taken when the spacecraft was 280,000 miles (450,000 kilometers) away from Pluto, show features as small as 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers). That’s twice the resolution of the single-image view captured on July 13 and revealed at the approximate time of New Horizons’ July 14 closest approach. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
  • Stunning Nightside Image Reveals Pluto’s Hazy Skies

    07/24/2015 12:41:41 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | 7/24/15
    July 24, 2015 Stunning Nightside Image Reveals Pluto’s Hazy Skies Pluto sends a breathtaking farewell to New Horizons. Backlit by the sun, Pluto’s atmosphere rings its silhouette like a luminous halo in this image taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft around midnight EDT on July 15. This global portrait of the atmosphere was captured when the spacecraft was about 1.25 million miles (2 million kilometers) from Pluto and shows structures as small as 12 miles across. The image, delivered to Earth on July 23, is displayed with north at the top of the frame. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI Speeding away from Pluto...
  • Pluto’s Moons Nix and Hydra Get Real / New Pluto Mountain Range Discovered

    07/22/2015 11:38:16 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies ^ | on July 21, 2015 | Bob King
    Nix looks like a strawberry-flavored jelly bean, but that reddish region with its vaguely bulls-eye shape hints at a possible crater on this 26 miles (42 km) long by 22 miles (36 km) wide moon. Hydra, which measures 34 x 25 miles (55 x 40 km), displays two large craters, one tilted to face the Sun (top) and the other almost fully in shadow. Differences in brightness across Hydra suggest differences in surface composition. Now we’ve seen three of Pluto’ family of five satellites. Expect images of Pluto’s most recently discovered moons, Styx and Kerberos, to be transmitted to Earth...
  • New Horizons Finds Second Mountain Range in Pluto’s ‘Heart’

    07/21/2015 7:05:27 PM PDT · by cripplecreek · 11 replies
    Pluto’s icy mountains have company. NASA’s New Horizons mission has discovered a new, apparently less lofty mountain range on the lower-left edge of Pluto’s best known feature, the bright, heart-shaped region named Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region). These newly-discovered frozen peaks are estimated to be one-half mile to one mile (1-1.5 kilometers) high, about the same height as the United States’ Appalachian Mountains. The Norgay Montes (Norgay Mountains) discovered by New Horizons on July 15 more closely approximate the height of the taller Rocky Mountains. The new range is just west of the region within Pluto’s heart called Sputnik Planum...
  • Reality Check: Trip To Pluto Cost Less Than Vikings' Stadium

    07/16/2015 12:14:27 PM PDT · by Colonel_Flagg · 32 replies
    WCCO-TV ^ | July 15, 2015 6:39 PM | Pat Kessler
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — NASA scientists and planet lovers everywhere are cheering the Pluto space probe, which is now sending images of the dwarf planet back to Earth. The cost of the 10-year voyage is raising eyebrows, but not for the reasons you might think. (snip) The edge-of-the-solar-system breakthrough cost $720 million. That’s less than the cost of the $1 billion Vikings stadium. And less than half the $1.7 billion price tag of the Southwest Rail Project.
  • Hello, Pluto! NASA Spacecraft Makes Historic Dwarf Planet Flyby

    The first age of solar system exploration is in the books. Related Stories NASA's New Horizons probe flew by Pluto this morning (July 14), capturing history's first up-close looks at the far-flung world — if all went according to plan. (Mission team members won't declare success until they hear from New Horizons tonight.) Closest approach came at 7:49 a.m. EDT (1149 GMT), when the spacecraft whizzed within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto's frigid surface. More at link
  • New Horizons data suggests mountains of nitrogen ice on Pluto have evaporated

    07/18/2015 10:20:19 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 35 replies
    Baltimore Sun ^ | 7/17/15 | Scott Dance
    The latest data downloaded from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft suggests that mountains of nitrogen ice thousands of feet high have evaporated into Pluto's atmosphere since the dwarf planet formed 4.5 billion years ago, and hundreds of tons of that gas escape into space each hour. New images of Pluto meanwhile show land forms that suggest heat is rising beneath the surface, with troughs of dark matter either collecting or bubbling up between flat segments of crust. Scientists discussed the findings Friday in their second major release of data collected when the $700 million New Horizons mission made a historic pass...
  • Pluto is alive—but where is the heat coming from? [Planet looks relatively young]

    07/18/2015 6:47:31 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 34 replies
    Science ^ | 07/18/2015 | Eric Hand
    Towering mountains of water ice rise up to 3500 meters tall on Pluto, above smooth plains covered in veneers of nitrogen and methane ice, NASA’s New Horizons team announced today. The discovery, along with the finding that parts of the dwarf planet’s surface are crater-free and therefore relatively young, points to a place that has been geologically reworked in the recent past. “It could even be active today,” said John Spencer, a New Horizons team member at Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) in Boulder, Colorado, at a press conference today at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Fly Over Pluto

    07/18/2015 2:44:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies
    NASA ^ | July 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: It took 9.5 years to get this close, but you can now take a virtual flight over Pluto in this animation of image data from the New Horizons spacecraft. The Plutonian terrain unfolding 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers) below is identified as Norgay Montes, followed by Sputnik Planum. The icy mountains, informally named for one of the first two Mount Everest climbers Tenzing Norgay, reach up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface. The frozen, young, craterless plains are informally named for the Earth's first artificial satellite. Sputnik Planum is north of Norgay Montes, within Pluto's expansive, bright, heart-shaped...
  • Let the Pluto conspiracy theories begin! Internet erupts with claims that New Horizons visit is...

    07/18/2015 11:45:22 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 49 replies ^ | Richard Gray
    Whenever mankind achieves something extraordinary that pushes the boundaries of what is possible, there are some naysayers who refuse to believe it has happened. It turns out there are some out there who think that Nasa has faked the stunning images of Pluto and its moons sent back by the New Horizons space craft this week. Rather than marvelling at the extraordinary detail they have revealed of mountains of ice, craters and canyons on Pluto’s surface, they instead insist it is all an elaborate lie. One individual, who calls himself Crrow ...used images from his own telescope in his back...
  • Very Cool Animated Flyover of Pluto’s Icy Mountain and Plains (Use Link in Body)

    07/17/2015 3:10:31 PM PDT · by lbryce · 10 replies
    YouTube ^ | July 17, 2015 | NASA
    Use this link below Very Cool Animated Flyover of Pluto’s Icy Mountain and Plains New Horizons spacecraft will do its closest flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015. “The Wait” alludes to not just New Horizons’ 9-year, 3-billion-mile journey, but also the anticipation of people from all walks of life, excited about the first good look at Pluto. Don’t miss it as the fastest moving spacecraft to date is nearing the end of an epic journey to visit the final unexplored planet in our solar system and beyond, to the new horizons we will discover on the other side. Music...
  • Youthful Frozen Plains Cover Pluto’s Big ‘Heart’ – Spectacular New Images from New Horizons

    07/17/2015 2:00:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 48 replies ^ | on July 17, 2015 | Ken Kremer
    A vast, craterless plain of Plutonian ice no more than 100 million years old and centered amidst Pluto’s big ‘heart’ was unveiled in spectacular new imagery taken by NASA’s resounding successful New Horizons mission, during its history making rapid transit through the Pluto-Charon binary planet system barely three days ago, on Tuesday, July 14. The jaw dropping new imagery was publicly released today, July 17, by NASA and scientists leading the New Horizons mission during a media briefing, and has already resulted in ground breaking new scientific discoveries at the last planet in our solar system to be visited by...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Charon

    07/16/2015 9:30:06 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    NASA ^ | July 17, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Icy world Charon is 1,200 kilometers across. That makes Pluto's largest moon only about 1/10th the size of planet Earth but a whopping 1/2 the diameter of Pluto itself. Charon is seen in unprecedented detail in this image from New Horizons. The image was captured late July 13 during the spacecraft's flight through the Plutonian system from a range of less than 500,000 kilometers. For reference, the distance separating Earth and Moon is less than 400,000 kilometers. Charonian terrain, described as surprising, youthful, and varied, includes a 1,000 kilometer swath of cliffs and troughs stretching below center, a 7...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 50 Miles on Pluto

    07/16/2015 1:20:07 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    NASA ^ | July 16, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A 50 mile (80 kilometer) trip across Pluto would cover the distance indicated by the scale bar in this startling image. The close-up of the icy world's rugged equatorial terrain was captured when the New Horizons spacecraft was about 47,800 miles (77,000 kilometers) from the surface, 1.5 hours before its closest approach. Rising to an estimated 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) the mountains are likely composed of water ice. Suggesting surprising geological activity, they are also likely young with an estimated age of 100 million years or so based on the apparent absence of craters. The region pictured is near...
  • New Horizons Makes Major Discoveries: Young Ice Mountains on Pluto and Crispy Young Chasms on Charon

    07/15/2015 5:14:29 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 24 replies
    univesetoday ^ | July 15, 2015 | Ken Kremer
    Scientists leading NASA’s historic New Horizons mission to the Pluto system announced the first of what is certain to be a tidal wave of new discoveries, including the totally unexpected finding of young ice mountains at Pluto and crispy clear views of young fractures on its largest moon Charon, at a NASA media briefing today (July 15) at the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. A treasure trove of long awaited data has begun streaming back to Mission Control at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory to the mouth watering delight of researchers and NASA. With the first ever...
  • NASA releases first Pluto flyby images

    07/15/2015 8:41:16 PM PDT · by UCANSEE2 · 31 replies
    FOX News ^ | July 15, 2015 | James Rogers
    NASA has released the first images taken during New Horizons’ historic flyby of dwarf planet Pluto.(This is an excerpt).

    07/15/2015 5:44:59 PM PDT · by lbryce · 40 replies
    New York Time ^ | July 14, 2015 | Kenneth Chang
    NYT:Space and CosmosNYT:NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Sends Signal From Pluto to Earth NYT:Images of Pluto From NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft
  • In 5:00 BBC Credits Obama w/ Pluto Mission, Trashes Bibi Like He's Got Horns, + Glorifies Iran Deal

    07/15/2015 12:14:51 PM PDT · by Reaganite Republican · 11 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 15 July 2015 | Reaganite Republican
    Was watching BBC Europe yesterday -flicked it on the the hotel for five minutes while unpacking- and the amount of left wing pom-pom shaking they can pack into a brief period of time is just about any intellectually-honest person can stomach... And that's regardless of political bias -like we never knew The Beebe leaned to the left. But it's relentless these days... I used to admire their professionalism and world coverage in the 80s/90s, as I still do the Telegraph, etc. British press is in many ways superior to my own country's, imho- even car magazines, i.e. CAR was a...
  • Pluto and Charon Shine in False Color

    07/15/2015 10:01:33 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 31 replies
    NASA ^ | 07-14-2015 | STAFF - Editor: Tricia Talbert
    New Horizons has obtained impressive new images of Pluto and its large moon Charon that highlight their compositional diversity. These are not actual color images of Pluto and Charon—they are shown here in exaggerated colors that make it easy to note the differences in surface material and features on each planetary body. The images were obtained using three of the color filters of the “Ralph” instrument on July 13 at 3:38 am EDT. New Horizons has seven science instruments on board the spacecraft—including “Ralph” and “Alice”, whose names are a throwback to the “Honeymooners,” a popular 1950s sitcom. “These images...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto Resolved

    07/14/2015 10:44:26 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    NASA ^ | July 15, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: New Horizons has survived its close encounter with Pluto and has resumed sending back images and data. The robotic spacecraft reported back on time, with all systems working, and with the expected volume of data stored. Featured here is the highest resolution image of Pluto taken before closest approach, an image that really brings Pluto into a satisfying focus. At first glance, Pluto is reddish and has several craters. Toward the image bottom is a surprisingly featureless light-covered region that resembles an iconic heart, and mountainous terrain appears on the lower right. This image, however, is only the beginning....
  • New Horizons Has Flown Past Pluto. Here's What Comes Next.

    07/14/2015 4:49:58 PM PDT · by lbryce · 20 replies
    LA Times ^ | July 14, 2015 | Deborah Netburn
    New Horizons' long journey to Pluto ended in an instant early this morning, when the NASA spacecraft went screaming past the dwarf planet at 30,800 mph -- but the mission is far from over. Even as the spacecraft speeds deeper into the Kuiper belt, its instruments will continue to search for signs of faint rings around the small world and take measurements of the dust and plasma in Pluto's neighborhood. And then there's all the new data that it has to get back to Earth. Little world, big heart: Pluto stuns in New Horizons image Little world, big heart: Pluto...
  • NASA Live Press Conference 9:30 PM. New Horizons Phones Home After Pluto Fly-By

    07/14/2015 6:16:57 PM PDT · by tennmountainman · 35 replies
    NASA TV ^ | 7-14-15 | NASA
    New Horizons spacecraft phones home confirming successful fly-by of Pluto. Link provided for live press conference that begins at 9:30 PM EDT.
  • Pluto and New Horizons for Musical Scientists

    07/14/2015 3:53:00 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 2 replies
    Click HERE for YouTube video. Warning: There are a few mild curse words in the video.
  • Pluto – Just Look at the Detail!

    07/14/2015 12:30:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 63 replies ^ | on July 14, 2015 | Bob King
    At 7:49 a.m. EDT today New Horizons made history when it zoomed within 7,800 miles of Pluto, the most remote object ever visited in the Solar System. Pluto has a very complex surface. The fact that large areas show few craters – as compared to say, Ceres or Vesta – shows that there have relatively recent changes there. Maybe very recent. Alan Stern, principal investigator for the mission, was asked by a report at this morning’s press conference if it snows on Pluto. His answer: “It sure looks like it.”
  • WATCH LIVE: Pluto gets its close-up as New Horizons spacecraft flys by at 7,800 miles away

    07/14/2015 4:52:26 AM PDT · by kidd · 69 replies
    NY Daily News ^ | 7/14/15 | AP
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft aimed to get up-close and personal with Pluto on Tuesday, on track to zoom within 7,800 miles of the small icy world left unexplored until now. It’s the final destination on NASA’s planetary tour of the solar system, which began more than a half-century ago. Pluto was still a full-fledged planet when New Horizons rocketed away in 2006, only to become demoted to dwarf status later that year. The 3 billion-mile journey from Cape Canaveral, Florida, culminates Tuesday at 7:49 a.m. EDT. That’s when the spacecraft is due to fly past Pluto...
  • New Horizons Probe Finds Out Pluto's Bigger (and Icier) Than We Thought

    07/13/2015 5:45:36 PM PDT · by radu · 75 replies
    NBC News ^ | July 13, 2015 | Alan Boyle
    LAUREL, Md. — With less than a day to go before NASA's New Horizons mission zooms past Pluto, scientists reported on Monday that the dwarf planet isn't quite as dwarfish as they thought — in fact, it's the largest known solar system object beyond Neptune. How large? Based on New Horizons imagery, its diameter is 2,370 kilometers (1,473 miles), plus or minus 20 kilometers (12.4 miles). That makes it almost 30 miles wider than Eris, the dwarf planet whose discovery led to Pluto's downfall as the "ninth planet" back in 2006. Eris' diameter has been measured to be 2,326 kilometers...
  • How Big Is Pluto? New Horizons Settles Decades-Long Debate (Tomorrow's the big day!)

    07/13/2015 12:09:50 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | 7/13/15
    July 13, 2015 How Big Is Pluto? New Horizons Settles Decades-Long Debate A portrait from the final approach. Pluto and Charon display striking color and brightness contrast in this composite image from July 11, showing high-resolution black-and-white LORRI images colorized with Ralph data collected from the last rotation of Pluto. Color data being returned by the spacecraft now will update these images, bringing color contrast into sharper focus. Credits: NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI Pluto’s bright, mysterious “heart” is rotating into view, ready for its close-up on close approach, in this image taken by New Horizons on July 12 from a distance of...
  • Pluto In A Minute: New Horizons Is Going Dark For the Flyby

    07/13/2015 11:29:41 AM PDT · by lbryce · 5 replies
    NASA:NewHoizins ^ | July 13,2015 | Staff
    Published on Jul 13, 2015 New Horizons is flying by Pluto on Tuesday, July 14! But we won't hear a word from it... This is Pluto in a Minute. After nine and a half years and 3.26 billion miles, New Horizons is finally making its closest flyby of Pluto tomorrow, on Tuesday July 14, but, the spacecraft will be silent all day. Because, of all the moving part on New Horizons, the antenna is not one of them. The New Horizons spacecraft features a large dish antenna, and when its facing the Earth it can do one of two things:...
  • Pluto by Moonlight

    07/12/2015 11:04:06 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 7 replies
    July 11, 2015Pluto by Moonlight In this artist’s rendering, Pluto’s largest moon Charon rises over the frozen surface of Pluto, casting a faint silvery luminescence across the distant planetary landscape. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute It’s Antarctic winter on Pluto. The sun has not been visible for twenty years in this frigid south polar region; it will not shine again for another 80 years. The only source of natural light is starlight and moonlight from Pluto’s largest moon, Charon. On July 14, New Horizons mission scientists will soon obtain the first images of the night region...
  • Pluto’s Time to Shine Just Hours Away – A Guide and Timetable

    07/12/2015 8:05:51 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 38 replies ^ | on July 12, 2015 | Bob King
    Edging within 7,800 miles of its surface at 7:49 a.m. EDT, the spacecraft’s long-range telescopic camera will resolve features as small as 230 feet (70 meters). Fourteen minutes later, it will zip within 17,930 miles of Charon as well as image Pluto’s four smaller satellites — Hydra, Styx, Nix and Kerberos. Graphic showing New Horizons’ busy schedule before and during the flyby. Credit: NASA fter zooming past, the craft will turn to photograph Pluto eclipsing the Sun as it looks for the faint glow of rings or dust sheets illuminated by backlight. At the same time, sunlight reflecting off Charon...
  • New Horizons: Last view of Pluto's spots

    07/11/2015 5:05:40 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 30 replies
    bbc ^ | Jonathan Amos
    Take a good look at the latest picture of Pluto because it shows the face of the dwarf planet that will not be seen during next week's historic flyby. The US space agency's New Horizons probe was less than 2.5 million km from the diminutive world on Saturday and closing in fast. Come Tuesday, it will be grabbing shots from an altitude of just 12,500km. But the newly published image, showing Pluto's "spots", is of the hemisphere that will soon rotate out of view. It will not be seen again until after New Horizons has gone behind the 2,300km-wide dwarf,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Geology on Pluto

    07/11/2015 4:52:38 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 18 replies
    NASA ^ | July 11, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pluto is coming into focus. As the robotic New Horizons spacecraft bears down on this unexplored world of the distant Solar System, new features on its surface are becoming evident. In the displayed image taken last Thursday and released yesterday, an unusual polygonal structure roughly 200 kilometers wide is visible on the left, while just below it relatively complex terrain runs diagonally across the dwarf planet. New Horizon's images and data on these structures will likely be studied for years to come in an effort to better understand the geologic history of Pluto and our Solar System. After suffering...
  • Scientists Simulate the Space Environment During NASA's New Horizons Flyby

    07/10/2015 11:32:40 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | 7/10/15
    Scientists Simulate the Space Environment During NASA's New Horizons Flyby Watch simulation here The black lines in this movie show clouds of solar material – called coronal mass ejections or CMEs – on their months-long journey from the sun to the outer reaches of the solar system. The simulation helps show what space environment NASA's New Horizons mission might experience during its flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015. Credits: NASA\Odstricil When destined to stay close to Earth, spacecraft often must withstand the hazards of our space environment. They can be exposed to regular radiation showers from the sun and...
  • Dem Candidate for NM Gov. Endorsed by Weather Underground Member

    05/30/2014 5:32:00 PM PDT · by SpaceBar · 6 replies
    Washington Free Beacon ^ | May 21, 2014 | Elizabeth Harrington
    New Mexico Democratic gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber has a history of radical views, including ties to the Weather Underground and urging empathy for a child sex offender. Webber has raised the most money of Democratic candidates vying to challenge Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, and is competing against four other Democrats, including Lawrence Rael, who exaggerated his resume on his campaign website. The primary will be held on June 3. Mark Rudd, a leader and founder of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground, which has advocated for the violent overthrow of the United States and committed multiple bombings of public...
  • Old World Monkey Had Tiny, Complex Brain - Findings offer new clues to how primate brains changed...

    07/09/2015 8:58:00 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 11 replies
    Duke Today ^ | July 3, 2015 | Staff
    The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The creature’s tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve before brain size in the primate family tree. The ancient monkey, known scientifically as Victoriapithecus, first made headlines in 1997 when its fossilized skull was discovered on an island in Kenya’s Lake Victoria, where it lived 15 million years ago. Now, thanks to high-resolution X-ray imaging, researchers have peered inside its cranial cavity and created a three-dimensional computer model of what the animal’s brain likely looked like....
  • Pluto’s ‘Heart’ Revealed as New Horizons Probe Starts Flyby Campaign: 5 Days Out

    07/09/2015 6:58:52 AM PDT · by lbryce · 11 replies
    Universe Today ^ | July 8, 2015 | Fraser Cain
    The Huge Heart of Pluto Pluto’s “Heart” is seen in this new image from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) received on July 8, 2015 after normal science operations resumed following the scary July 4 safe mode anomaly that briefing shut down all science operations. It shows ‘the heart and the whale’ along Pluto’s equator. The LORRI image has been combined with lower-resolution color information from the Ralph instrument. Credits: NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI Emotions are rising exponentially with the rousing revelation that Pluto has a huge ‘Heart’ as revealed in stunning new imagery received just today (July 8) from NASA’s...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 5 Million Miles from Pluto

    07/09/2015 4:54:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | July 09, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: An image snapped on July 7 by the New Horizons spacecraft while just under 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto is combined with color data in this most detailed view yet of the Solar System's most famous world about to be explored. The region imaged includes the tip of an elongated dark area along Pluto's equator already dubbed "the whale". A bright heart-shaped region on the right is about 1,200 miles (2,000) kilometers across, possibly covered with a frost of frozen methane, nitrogen, and/or carbon monoxide. The view is centered near the area that will be seen...
  • New Horizons Map of Pluto: The Whale and the Donut

    07/07/2015 5:05:54 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | 7/7/15
    New Horizons Map of Pluto: The Whale and the Donut This map of Pluto, made from images taken by the LORRI instrument aboard New Horizons, shows a wide array of bright and dark markings of varying sizes and shapes. Perhaps most intriguing is the fact that all of the darkest material on the surface lies along Pluto’s equator. The color version was created from lower-resolution color data from the spacecraft’s Ralph instrument. Credits: NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI This is the latest map of Pluto created from images taken from June 27 to July 3 by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New...
  • An animation just for fun - The Solarbeat: Planetary orbits set to music (ok ok, plus Pluto's orbit)

    07/06/2015 12:05:56 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 4 replies
    Click here to play with the interactive animation. Use the slider to change the speed. Click on other icons to change the scale, bass, etc.
  • Almost Time for Pluto’s Close-Up (See The Great Artist's Rendering Inside)

    07/07/2015 11:07:06 AM PDT · by lbryce · 33 replies
    New York times ^ | July 6, 2015 | Kenneth Chang
    <p>In a few days, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past the former ninth planet, the first up-closelook of the icy world in the outer solar system.</p> <p>The pictures coming back from Pluto are still a bit fuzzy. But just wait.</p>
  • NASA’s New Horizons on Track for Pluto Flyby Science Operations to Resume for On Time Encounter

    07/07/2015 6:45:10 AM PDT · by lbryce · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | July 6, 2015 | Tricia Talbert
    The recovery from a July 4 anomaly that sent the New Horizons spacecraft into safe mode is proceeding according to plan, with the mission team preparing to return to normal science operations on time July 7. Mission managers reported during a July 6 media teleconference that NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft resumed operations on its main computer overnight. The sequence of commands for the Pluto flyby have now been uplinked to the spacecraft, and full, as planned science observations of Pluto, its moons and the solar winds will resume at 12:34 p.m. EDT July 7. The quick response to the weekend...
  • This Trailer For NASA’s New Horizons Mission To Pluto Will Leave You On The Edge Of Your Seat

    07/07/2015 4:39:19 AM PDT · by lbryce · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | June 16, 2015 | Curtis Thompson
    A stunning teaser for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto will leave you brimming with anticipation. A new video has been released to promote NASA’s New Horizons mission. *SNIP* The video was commissioned by the National Space Society in honor of the highly anticipated arrival of NASA’s New Horizons probe at Pluto this summer. *SNIP* WATCH: Wanderers:A Stunning Vision Of Humanity's Future In Space Narrated By Carl Sagan The short YouTube video takes you on a tour of the solar system, flying by all the planets we’ve already visited leading up to the one world no spacecraft has yet...
  • Casanova Who Cheated 20 Women Arrested

    07/06/2015 10:31:05 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 17 replies
    ASIAONE ^ | Monday, Jul 6, 2015
    It was the end of the road for a Casanova who has swindled about 20 women of their money and jewellery when he was arrested by police. The 34-year-old man was believed to have been involved in 20 fraud cases amounting to about RM155,000 (S$55,000). [US$40,600] Identifying himself as Aidid Iskandar, Afzan Iskandar and Hafis, the man would approach his victims on Facebook and sweet-talk them into believing he was sincere. The father-of-three is said to have cheated about 20 women between the ages of 28 and 38 of their cash and jewellery in two years. Brickfields police chief Asst...
  • New Horizons Exits Safe Mode, Operating Flawlessly for Upcoming Pluto Encounter

    07/06/2015 9:04:12 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 16 replies ^ | on July 6, 2015 | Ken Kremer
    It’s now just exactly one week before the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a fast flyby encounter of the ever intriguing binary planet, And the great news could not come soon enough given the proximity of the flyby. “The spacecraft is in excellent health and back in operation. New Horizons is barreling towards the Pluto system,” stated Jim Green, director of Planetary Science, NASA Headquarters, Washington, at the start of the today’s news media briefing. The mission remains on track to conduct the complex close flyby science sequence in its entirety, as planned over the next week, including the July 14 flyby...
  • NASA's Latest Pluto Images Actually Show a Planet

    07/06/2015 6:50:08 PM PDT · by lbryce · 51 replies
    Endgadget ^ | July 6, 2015 | John fingas
    At last, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is sending back images of Pluto that look (slightly) better than brown blobs or pixel art. The probe has delivered a new batch of images from between 7.8 million to 9.2 million miles away, or close enough that the dwarf planet is starting to reveal some meaningful detail. There's still no explanation for those giant spots, but it's evident that there's a "continuous swath" of dark ground near the equator. And if you'd like pictures that are better than fuzzy, you might not have to hold out for too much longer. New Horizons...
  • NASA’s New Horizons Plans July 7 Return to Normal Science Operations

    07/05/2015 7:54:25 PM PDT · by lbryce · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | July 5, 2015 | Lilian Gipson
    NASA’s New Horizons mission is returning to normal science operations after a July 4 anomaly and remains on track for its July 14 flyby of Pluto. The investigation into the anomaly that caused New Horizons to enter “safe mode” on July 4 has concluded that no hardware or software fault occurred on the spacecraft. The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence that occurred during an operation to prepare for the close flyby. No similar operations are planned for the remainder of the Pluto encounter. “I’m pleased that our mission team quickly...
  • NASA Loses [lost] Contact with New Horizons; Probe Now in Safe Mode

    07/05/2015 12:13:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    universetoday ^ | July 5, 2015 | bob king
    At 1:54 p.m. EDT, communications suddenly stopped and weren’t reestablished until 3:15 p.m. through NASA’s Deep Space Network. During the time it was out of contact with mission control, the spacecraft’s autonomous autopilot recognized the problem and did what it was programmed to do, switching from the main to the backup computer, according to NASA officials. The autopilot then commanded the backup computer to put New Horizons in “safe mode” — where all non-essential functions are shut down — and reinitiate communications with Earth ... New Horizons is presently almost 3 billion miles (4.9 billion km) from Earth. Due to...
  • NASA's New Horizons Team Works to Revive Pluto-Bound Probe After Anomaly

    NASA said its New Horizons probe suffered a temporary communication breakdown on Saturday, 10 days before it's scheduled to fly past Pluto, and the mission team is working to restore normal operations. In a mission update, NASA said the team lost contact with the piano-sized probe at 1:54 p.m. ET, when it had less than 7.5 million miles left in its 3 billion-mile journey to the dwarf planet. The spacecraft's autopilot system switched control from its primary to its backup computer and restored communications at 3:15 p.m., NASA said. There's one big complication: Because New Horizons is so far away,...
  • Red-faced Pluto Full of Surprises

    07/04/2015 6:56:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 11 replies ^ | on July 4, 2015 | Bob King
    On Mars, iron oxide or rust colors the planet’s soil, while Pluto’s coloration is likely caused by hydrocarbon molecules called tholins that are formed when cosmic rays and solar ultraviolet light interact with methane in Pluto’s atmosphere and on its surface. Airborne tholins fall out of the atmosphere and coat the surface with a reddish gunk ... “Pluto’s reddish color has been known for decades, but New Horizons is now allowing us to correlate the color of different places on the surface with their geology and soon, with their compositions,” said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest...
  • NASA/JPL "Eyes on the Solar System" Provides A Great Visualization on New Horizons/Pluto

    07/04/2015 12:58:45 PM PDT · by lbryce · 4 replies
    Go to and choose "Eyes on Pluto"