Pluto may be long gone, but NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is by no means finished with the outer solar system. For the second time, New Horizons has observed 1994 JR1, a 90-mile wide Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) that orbits over 3 billion miles from the sun.
NASA has released a new image of Pluto’s Tartarus Dorsa, the ‘bladed’ region to the east of the heart-shaped formation known as the Tombaugh Region. The 3D image reminds us of how weird the dwarf planet is.
On July 14th 2015, millions of two-legged mammals watched with bated breath as a piano-sized spacecraft of their own making pulled up to an icy rock three billion miles away. Through the eyes of New Horizons, we got our first good look at Pluto, and what we saw astonished us. But eight months on and several beefy…
There’s been dozens of probes that have gone out exploring the solar system since 1959's Luna 2 probe. PopChartLab has gone and noted down each one since in this beautiful poster of the Solar System.
Even though New Horizons swept past Pluto last year, more than half the data that it gleaned from the planet during its flyby is still on the spacecraft, which means that there’s still much that we’ll be learning about the dwarf planet. Case in point: methane snow-covered peaks.
Remember when Pluto was nothing more than a pixelated blob at the edge of our Solar System? We were so young then. But now, seven months after New Horizons’ historic flyby, scientists have amassed so much data on the former ninth planet that they’re constructing our first geologic maps of it.
Something strange has been happening on the surface of Pluto. There’s a series of hills, each about a couple miles across, and they appear to be moving.
A couple of years ago, we were blown away by Steve Gildea’s work titled Planetary Suite: a sliver of each planet forming a single, wonderful image. There was one problem though: he didn’t know what Pluto looked like. Now, we do.
New Horizons might have swept past Pluto months ago, but we’re still learning some cool things from the images that are being beamed back. In the latest picture, NASA reported that they’ve spotted some layers in the dwarf planet’s atmosphere.
Ever since New Horizons zipped past Pluto in July, we’ve marveled over the dwarf planet’s complex terrain. Among the biggest puzzles Pluto presents us with is a vast, crater-free ice field informally known as Sputnik Planum. The leading hypothesis for how this surface came to be? An epically violent collision.
New Horizons returned some amazingly detailed shots and data of Pluto over the course of its mission—but just what did it have to fly through to get there? So, so much.
Whoosh! Did you see that? It may look a bit scrappy, but the tiny white projectile at the center of the animation below—officially called 1994 JR1— is a cosmic time capsule, brought to you by a piano-sized spacecraft over 3 billion miles away. You’re looking at the closest picture yet of a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) by…
NASA has just received the first batch of the sharpest images of Pluto captured during the July flyby—and they’re incredible. Are you ready to go cross-country skiing and ice climbing three billion miles from home? Because Pluto’s terrain is a frozen wonderland.
As the New Horizons spacecraft approached Pluto this summer, it sent back photos from all angles, allowing us to reconstruct an entire day on the dwarf planet. Not one to play favorites, NASA has now gone and done the same for Charon, Pluto’s crater-ridden moon.
With Pluto receding into the distance, New Horizons is speeding merrily along toward its next destination. On Wednesday, the spacecraft completed its fourth and final engine burn, placing it on course for 2014 MU69, an ancient, frozen body located more than a billion miles beyond Pluto in the Kuiper Belt.
Of all the craters on Pluto’s moon Charon, this one is unlike the others. The bright green marks a unique splash of frozen ammonia at a concentration higher than any other crater examined in detail on the massive moon. But does that mean it’s the youngest?
Oh, wow. Because the tiny sliver of Pluto at sunset wasn’t enough, now we get the full view of what the New Horizons spacecraft saw just moments after its closest approach. And it’s absolutely gorgeous.
Get ready to tease your eyes while exploring the mountains, plains, and craters of Pluto in new three-dimensional images of the strange little world.
Oh, hello there! Are you the tiniest moon of Pluto, Kerberos? It’s so lovely to finally meet you, and complete our family portrait of all of Pluto’s little moons.
Styx, the faintest moon of Pluto, is absolutely miniscule. This fuzzball of a rock is just a few kilometers across, and is making me squeal in unconstrained glee.