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Keyword: pluto

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  • Pluto's Craterless Plains Look Young

    11/30/2015 12:31:32 PM PST · by fishtank · 23 replies
    Institute for Creation Research ^ | Dec. 2015 | Brian Thomas
    Pluto's Craterless Plains Look Young by Brian Thomas, M.S. * Resources › Physical Sciences Resources › Astronomy Earlier this year, New Horizons flew past dwarf planet Pluto and its sister Charon, rapidly capturing data. That information continues to trickle in, revealing a surprisingly smooth heart-shaped plain called "Tombaugh Regio." The countless craters expected from billions of years' worth of impacts are nowhere to be found. Tombaugh Regio is centered just north of Pluto's equator and contains a western lobe called "Sputnik Planum." After thorough data scouring, researchers found zero craters on Sputnik Planum.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Unusual Pits Discovered on Pluto

    11/26/2015 9:18:56 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 37 replies
    NASA ^ | November 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why are there unusual pits on Pluto? The indentations were discovered during the New Horizons spacecraft's flyby of the dwarf planet in July. The largest pits span a kilometer across and dip tens of meters into a lake of frozen nitrogen, a lake that sprawls across Sputnik Planum, part of the famous light-colored heart-shaped region named Tombaugh Regio. Although most pits in the Solar System are created by impact craters, these depressions look different -- many are similarly sized, densely packed, and aligned. Rather, it is thought that something has caused these specific areas of ice to sublimate and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Gegenschein Lunar Eclipse

    11/14/2015 12:50:55 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | November 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Is there anything interesting to see in the direction opposite the Sun? One night last month, there were quite a few things. First, the red-glowing orb on the lower right of the featured image is the full moon, darkened and reddened because it has entered Earth's shadow. Beyond Earth's cone of darkness are backscattering dust particles orbiting the Sun that standout with a diffuse glow called the gegenschein, visible as a faint band rising from the central horizon and passing behind the Moon. A nearly horizontal stripe of green airglow is also discernable just above the horizon, partly blocked...
  • Mountains on Pluto believed to be ice volcanoes, scientists say

    11/10/2015 4:41:49 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 5 replies
    Reuters on Yahoo News ^ | 11/9/15 | Irene Klotz
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Scientists have discovered what appear to be ice-spewing volcanoes on the surface of Pluto, raising questions about how the tiny, distant world has been so geologically active, according to research presented on Monday. The findings, released at an American Astronomical Society meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, paint a far more complicated picture of Pluto and its moons than scientists imagined. "The Pluto system is baffling us," planetary scientist Alan Stern, with the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, told reporters during a webcast news conference. Stern heads the team working on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft,...
  • Why Earth is so much bigger than Mars: Rocky planets formed from 'pebbles'

    10/27/2015 11:47:58 AM PDT · by JimSEA · 9 replies
    Science Daily ^ | 10/27/2015 | Southwest Research Institute
    Using a new process in planetary formation modeling, where planets grow from tiny bodies called "pebbles," Southwest Research Institute scientists can explain why Mars is so much smaller than Earth. This same process also explains the rapid formation of the gas giants Jupiter and Saturn, as reported earlier this year. "This numerical simulation actually reproduces the structure of the inner solar system, with Earth, Venus, and a smaller Mars," said Hal Levison, an Institute scientist at the SwRI Planetary Science Directorate. He is the first author of a new paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences...
  • Two more planets in our Solar System, say astronomers

    01/20/2015 8:54:04 AM PST · by Red Badger · 51 replies
    www.businessinsider.com ^ | Jan. 19, 2015, 8:40 AM | Richard INGHAM, AFP
    Paris (AFP) - The Solar System has at least two more planets waiting to be discovered beyond the orbit of Pluto, Spanish and British astronomers say. The official list of planets in our star system runs to eight, with gas giant Neptune the outermost. Beyond Neptune, Pluto was relegated to the status of "dwarf planet" by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, although it is still championed by some as the most distant planet from the Sun. In a study published in the latest issue of the British journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, researchers propose that "at...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Charon and the Small Moons of Pluto

    10/27/2015 3:43:51 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | October 26, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What do the moons of Pluto look like? Before a decade ago, only the largest moon Charon was known, but never imaged. As the robotic New Horizons spacecraft was prepared and launched, other moons were identified on Hubble images but remained only specks of light. Finally, this past summer, New Horizons swept right past Pluto, photographed Pluto and Charon in detail, and took the best images of Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra that it could. The featured image composite shows the results -- each moon is seen to have a distinct shape, while underlying complexity is only hinted. Even...
  • New Horizons aiming toward next target [Kuiper Belt 2014 MU69]

    10/25/2015 6:30:08 PM PDT · by markomalley · 4 replies
    Earthsky ^ | 10/25/15
    The fast-moving New Horizons spacecraft is now approximately 74 million miles (119 million km) beyond the Pluto system, which it swept through in July. Today (October 25, 2015), the spacecraft is carrying out the second in a series of four initial targeting maneuvers ultimately designed to send it toward its next target a small body in the Kuiper Belt about a billion miles beyond Pluto called 2014 MU69. NASA said: The four planned maneuvers will change New Horizons trajectory by approximately 57 meters per second, nudging it toward a prospective close encounter with MU69 on January 1, 2019....
  • New Horizons reveals Pluto's striking surface variations and unique moon rotations

    10/16/2015 8:43:36 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 24 replies
    http://phys.org ^ | October 15, 2015 | Provided by: University of Maryland / NASA
    This portrait of Pluto is in enhanced color, to illustrate differences in the composition and texture of Pluto's surface. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************ University of Maryland astronomers Silvia Protopapa and Douglas Hamilton are among the authors of the first published paper from the New Horizons flyby, which appears in the Oct. 16, 2015 issue of the journal Science. Protopapa helped map the composition of Pluto's surface and locate ices on it. Hamilton helped confirm the shapes, sizes and unique rotations of two of Pluto's moons and the finding that no other moons appear to orbit Pluto. The findings will help scientists...
  • ICE ON PLUTO: Now frozen water and BLUE SKY found on dwarf planet giving more hope of life

    10/08/2015 11:20:25 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 76 replies
    www.express.co.uk ^ | UBLISHED: 16:40, Thu, Oct 8, 2015 | UPDATED: 18:01, Thu, Oct 8, 2015 | By Jon Austin
    NASA has discovered frozen water and earth-like blue skies on Pluto in another historic development in the search for extraterrestrial life. Just 10 days after confirming that liquid water has been found on Mars, the US space agency revealed the amazing dwarf-planet has both ice and a 'gorgeous' blue sky. A Nasa spokesman said: "New Horizons has detected numerous small, exposed regions of water ice on Pluto. "The discovery was made from data collected by the Ralph spectral composition mapper on New Horizons." There has been repeated speculation Pluto may have a liquid sea under its surface, and confirmation of...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Flying Past Pluto

    10/06/2015 1:16:13 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | October 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What would it look like to fly past Pluto? The robotic New Horizons spacecraft did just this in late July and continues to return stunning pictures of the dwarf planet. Some well-chosen flyby images have now been digitally sequenced to create the featured video. The animation begins by showing New Horizon's approach to the Pluto system, with Pluto and its largest moon Charon orbiting a common center of mass. As the spacecraft bears down on Pluto uniquely, surprising surface features are nearly resolved that, unfortunately, quickly rotate out of view. New Horizons then passes just above and near a...
  • New NASA images show Plutos moon Charon in stunning detail

    10/03/2015 7:42:02 PM PDT · by ETL · 64 replies
    FoxNews.com - Science ^ | October 03, 2015
    NASAs New Horizons spacecraft has sent incredible images of Plutos largest moon Charon back to Earth. The latest images reveal the moons complex and violent history, according to NASA. Many New Horizons scientists expected Charon to be a monotonous, crater-battered world; instead, theyre finding a landscape covered with mountains, canyons, landslides, surface-color variations and more, explained the space agency, in a statement. The high-resolution images, which were taken on July 14 and transmitted to Earth on Sept. 21, reveal a belt of fractures and canyons just north of the moons equator. Four times as long as the Grand Canyon, and...
  • Charon: Moon of Pluto

    10/02/2015 2:30:58 AM PDT · by lbryce · 7 replies
    APOD ^ | October 2, 2015 | NASA
    Charon: Moon of Pluto A darkened and mysterious north polar region informally known as Mordor Macula caps this premier high-resolution portrait of Charon, Pluto's largest moon. Captured by New Horizons near its closest approach on July 14, the image data was transmitted to Earth on September 21. The combined blue, red, and infrared data is processed to enhance colors, following variations in surface properties with a resolution of about 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles). In fact, Charon is 1,214 kilometers (754 miles) across, about 1/10th the size of planet Earth but a whopping 1/2 the diameter of Pluto itself. That makes...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Charon: Moon of Pluto

    10/01/2015 9:50:07 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 16 replies
    NASA ^ | October 02, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: A darkened and mysterious north polar region informally known as Mordor Macula caps this premier high-resolution portrait of Charon, Pluto's largest moon. Captured by New Horizons near its closest approach on July 14, the image data was transmitted to Earth on September 21. The combined blue, red, and infrared data is processed to enhance colors, following variations in surface properties with a resolution of about 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles). In fact, Charon is 1,214 kilometers (754 miles) across, about 1/10th the size of planet Earth but a whopping 1/2 the diameter of Pluto itself. That makes it the largest...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto's Snakeskin Terrain

    09/25/2015 12:15:25 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 38 replies
    NASA ^ | September 25, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Image Credit: Explanation: A mountainous region informally known as Tartarus Dorsa sprawls some 530 kilometers (330 miles) across this Plutonian landscape. Recently downloaded from New Horizons, it combines blue, red, and infrared image data in an extended color view captured near the spacecraft's close approach to Pluto on July 14. Shadows near the terminator, the line between Pluto's dim day and night, emphasize a rough, scaly texture. The stunning image resolves details on the distant world about 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) across. Refering to a part of Hades in ancient Greek mythology, Tartarus Dorsa borders Tombaugh Regio to the...
  • Finally, Pluto In Real Color View

    09/24/2015 2:52:42 PM PDT · by lbryce · 64 replies
    Friends of NASA ^ | September 22m 2015 | Staff
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- A Plutonian Landscape

    09/18/2015 3:40:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 18, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This shadowy landscape of majestic mountains and icy plains stretches toward the horizon of a small, distant world. It was captured from a range of about 18,000 kilometers when New Horizons looked back toward Pluto, 15 minutes after the spacecraft's closest approach on July 14. The dramatic, low-angle, near-twilight scene follows rugged mountains still popularly known as Norgay Montes from foreground left, and Hillary Montes along the horizon, giving way to smooth Sputnik Planum at right. Layers of Pluto's tenuous atmosphere are also revealed in the backlit view. With a strangely familiar appearance, the frigid terrain likely includes ices...
  • New Pluto photo.. Majestic Mountains and Frozen Plains (Wow!)

    09/17/2015 5:26:37 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 63 replies
    John Hopkins ^ | 9/17/15
    Just 15 minutes after its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft looked back toward the sun and captured a near-sunset view of the rugged, icy mountains and flat ice plains extending to Pluto's horizon. The smooth expanse of the informally named Sputnik Planum (right) is flanked to the west (left) by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. The backlighting highlights more than a dozen layers of haze in Pluto's tenuous but distended atmosphere. The image...
  • Latest Images from Pluto: 'It's Complicated,' Says NASA

    09/15/2015 7:38:43 AM PDT · by Enlightened1 · 17 replies
    http://mentalfloss.com ^ | September 11, 2015 | Jen Pikowski
    The New Horizons probe has sent back the latest images from its historic July 14 flyby of Pluto. While the first close-up photos of the dwarf planet, taken from 7800 miles above the surface, had the New Horizons teamand people around the worldgiddy with excitement about intriguing features like 11,000-foot-tall ice mountains, the latest, downlinked over Labor Day weekend, have left them scratching their heads. "If an artist had painted this Pluto before our flyby, I probably would have called it over the topbut thats what is actually there," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto from above Cthulhu Regio

    09/14/2015 3:42:08 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | September 14, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: New high resolution images of Pluto are starting to arrive from the outer Solar System. The robotic New Horizons spacecraft, which zoomed by Pluto in July, has finished sending back some needed engineering data and is now transmitting selections from its tremendous storehouse of images of Pluto and its moons. The featured image, a digital composite, details a surprising terrain filled with craters, plains, landscape of unknown character, and landforms that resemble something on Earth but are quite unexpected on Pluto. The light area sprawling across the upper right has been dubbed Sputnik Planum and is being studied for...
  • New Pluto Images Show Possible Dunes, Crepuscular Rays, Unimaginable Complexity

    09/10/2015 4:53:58 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 38 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on September 10, 2015 | Nancy Atkinson
    Seeing dunes on Pluto if that is what they are would be completely wild, because Plutos atmosphere today is so thin, said William B. McKinnon, a GGI deputy lead from Washington University, St. Louis. Either Pluto had a thicker atmosphere in the past, or some process we havent figured out is at work. Its a head-scratcher. Plus, a new view of Plutos hazy backlit atmosphere shows what are likely crepuscular rays shadows cast on the haze by topography such as mountain ranges on Pluto, similar to the rays sometimes seen in the sky after the sun sets...
  • AWESOME!New Pluto photos reveal features that 'rival anything we've seen in the solar system'

    09/10/2015 4:51:27 PM PDT · by lbryce · 26 replies
    Business Insider ^ | September 10, 2014 | Jessica Owing
    NASA just released the latest photos of Pluto, and they reveal more complex features and diversity on the surface than scientists could have ever hoped to imagine. Here's one of the newest photos that shows the heart-shaped feature, informally named Tombaugh Regio, in the upper-right portion of the dwarf planet: The dwarf planet Pluto might be 4.6 billion miles from Earth, but last July NASA flew its New Horizons spacecraft to get a better look at just 7,800 miles above the Plutonian surface about 500,000 times closer than Earth. And some of the first photos it snapped and...
  • New Horizons: River of Data Commences (95% of Pluto data still to come)

    09/08/2015 4:16:42 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 5 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 9/8/15 | Paul Gilster
    New Horizons: River of Data Commences by Paul Gilster on September 8, 2015 Hard to believe its been 55 days since the New Horizons flyby. When the event occurred, I was in my daughters comfortable beach house working at a table in the living room, a laptop in front of me monitoring numerous feeds. My grandson, sitting to my right with his machine, was tracking social media on the event and downloading images. When I was Buzzys age that day, Scott Carpenters Mercury flight was in the works, and with all of Gemini and Apollo ahead, I remember the raw...
  • Is there a Planet X, a massive perturber, hidden beyond Pluto?

    09/05/2015 7:46:28 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 32 replies
    Washington Post ^ | September 3 | Joel Achenbach
    The paper ... noted that a number of large, very remote objects share a similar orbital angle. That's suspicious if you're an astronomer expecting to see a random distribution of objects. The key orbital feature is known, rather obtusely, as the argument of perihelion. We're not shy of complicated orbital concepts (we try to toss around the phrase "obliquity of the ecliptic" whenever possible), but this one is not very easy to explain. "The argument of perihelion is the angle at which an object comes to perihelion with respect to the ecliptic plane," Sheppard said in an e-mail. Mike Brown,...
  • Plutos Moon Nix

    09/03/2015 2:33:43 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    Universe Today ^ | on September 3, 2015 | Matt Williams
    In accordance with IAU guidelines concerning the naming of satellites in the Solar System, the moon was named Nix. Derived from Greek mythology, Nix is the goddess of darkness and night, the mother of Charon and the ferryman of Hades (the Greek equivalent of Pluto) who brought the souls of the dead to the underworld. The name was officially announced on June 21st, 2006, in an IAU Circular, where the designation Pluto II is also given. The initials N and H (for Nix and Hydra) were also a deliberate reference to the New Horizons mission, which would be conducting a...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto in Enhanced Color

    08/30/2015 9:58:29 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 36 replies
    NASA ^ | August 31, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pluto is more colorful than we can see. Color data and images of our Solar System's most famous dwarf planet, taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft during its flyby in July, have been digitally combined to give an enhanced view of this ancient world sporting an unexpectedly young surface. The featured enhanced color image is not only esthetically pretty but scientifically useful, making surface regions of differing chemical composition visually distinct. For example, the light-colored heart-shaped Tombaugh Regio on the lower right is clearly shown here to be divisible into two regions that are geologically different, with the...
  • The Gas (and Ice) Giant Uranus

    08/27/2015 11:24:07 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 49 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Matt Williams
    Uranus, which takes its name from the Greek God of the sky, is a gas giant and the seventh planet from our Sun. It is also the third largest planet in our Solar System, ranking behind Jupiter and Saturn. Like its fellow gas giants, it has many moons, a ring system, and is primarily composed of gases that are believed to surround a solid core. Though it can be seen with the naked eye, the realization that Uranus is a planet was a relatively recent one. Though there are indications that it was spotted several times over the course of...
  • 16 Seconds Of Pluto Hides A Surprise (Video)

    08/19/2015 11:44:33 AM PDT · by Citizen Zed · 25 replies
    Area Voices ^ | 8-19-2015 | Astro Bob
    Buddy, can you spare 16 seconds? Bjorn Jonsson, a 3D computer graphics expert, used publicly available photos on the New Horizons website to create a zippy flyby ofPluto that gets you in and out in just seconds.But hold on! If you use the pause button,youll see something amazing Plutos dark backside illuminated by sunlight reflecting off its largest moon Charon. Even at Plutos enormous distance from the sun of over 3 billion miles, enough sunlight falls on its 750-mile-wide moon Charon to provide a faint illumination on one hemisphere of the dwarf planet. The ring you see around Pluto...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Stereo Pluto

    08/06/2015 3:51:27 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | August 06, 2015 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These two detailed, true color images of Pluto were captured during the historic New Horizons flyby last month. With slightly different perspectives on the now recognizeable surface features they are presented in this first high quality stereo pair intended for viewing by denizens of planet Earth. The left hand image (left eye) is a mosaic recorded when the spacecraft was about 450,000 kilometers from Pluto. The right single image was acquired earlier, a last full look before the spacecraft's closest approach. Despite a difference in resolution, the pair combine for a stunning 3D perception of the distant, underworldly terrain....
  • Kirk, Spock and Sulu Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before Charon!

    08/03/2015 1:46:20 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 12 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Bob King
    Four naming themes were selected for Charons features, three of which are based on fiction Fictional Explorers and Travelers, Fictional Origins and Destinations, Fictional Vessels and one on Exploration Authors, Artists and Directors. Plutos features, in contrast, are named for both real people and places as well as mythological beings of underworld mythology. Clyde Tombaugh, the dwarf worlds discoverer, takes center stage, with his name appropriately spanning 990 miles (1,590 km) of frozen terrain nicknamed the heart of Pluto. Perhaps the most intriguing region of Pluto, its home to what appear to be glaciers of nitrogen ice still...
  • Face the facts people, there is no life on Mars

    07/31/2015 11:20:25 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 53 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | 07/24/2015 | Michael Hanlon
    Suddenly, space is getting interesting again. After decades of going boldly nowhere in low Earth orbit, Man, or rather his robotic emissaries, have made some startling discoveries in our Solar System. Cold, distant Pluto is who would have thought it? turning out to be one of the most interesting planets (yes, it is a planet) in the Solar System. Before the New Horizons probe turned up earlier this month, astronomers assumed it would be a dull, grey cratered rock. [SNIP] If we find life of any kind out there whether it be Martian microbes (we have several...
  • Eris Moon of Dysnomia

    07/28/2015 1:50:21 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    Ask a person what Dysnomia refers to... But in addition to being a condition that affects the memory (where people have a hard time remembering words and names), it is also the only known moon of the distant dwarf planet Eris. In fact, the same team that discovered Eris a decade ago a discovery that threw our entire notion of what constitutes a planet into question also discovered a moon circling it shortly thereafter. ... The actual size of Dysnomia is subject to dispute, and estimates are based largely on the planets albedo relative to Eris. For example,...
  • 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). Thats 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 Plutos 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 Plutos Hazy Skies Pluto sends a breathtaking farewell to New Horizons. Backlit by the sun, Plutos atmosphere rings its silhouette like a luminous halo in this image taken by NASAs 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...
  • Plutos Moons Nix and Hydra Get Real / New Pluto Mountain Range Discovered

    07/22/2015 11:38:16 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | 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 weve seen three of Pluto family of five satellites. Expect images of Plutos most recently discovered moons, Styx and Kerberos, to be transmitted to Earth...
  • New Horizons Finds Second Mountain Range in Plutos Heart

    07/21/2015 7:05:27 PM PDT · by cripplecreek · 11 replies
    Plutos icy mountains have company. NASAs New Horizons mission has discovered a new, apparently less lofty mountain range on the lower-left edge of Plutos 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 Plutos 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. Thats 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 alivebut 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, NASAs New Horizons team announced today. The discovery, along with the finding that parts of the dwarf planets 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
    dailymail.co.uk ^ | 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 Plutos 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 Plutos 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 Plutos 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. Dont 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 Plutos Big Heart Spectacular New Images from New Horizons

    07/17/2015 2:00:57 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 48 replies
    universetoady.com ^ | on July 17, 2015 | Ken Kremer
    A vast, craterless plain of Plutonian ice no more than 100 million years old and centered amidst Plutos big heart was unveiled in spectacular new imagery taken by NASAs 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 NASAs 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:NASAs New Horizons Spacecraft Sends Signal From Pluto to Earth NYT:Images of Pluto From NASAs 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 canstomach... 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...