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  • Pluto
  • five moons of Pluto
  • Pluto
Your search has returned 46 articles:
  • Feature

    Year in review: Pluto unveiled as a world like no other

    View the video

    Mountains of water ice tower thousands of meters over fields of frozen nitrogen and methane. Glaciers etched with channels hint at heat bubbling up from below. A patchwork of new and old terrains — some laid down in the last 10 million years, some as old as the planet itself — blanket the ground. And what appear to be two ice volcanoes punch through the terrain.

    The...

    12/15/2015 - 07:05 Planetary Science
  • News

    Pluto’s smaller moons pose mysteries

    Pluto and Charon might have been the stars of the New Horizons mission, but the dwarf planet’s four smaller moons have some surprises to share as well.

    With images of Kerberos transmitted from the spacecraft on October 20, the Pluto family portrait is complete. The tiny moons Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx are no longer pinpricks of light but textured, misshapen balls of ice that look...

    11/02/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • Science Ticker

    The wait for more Pluto data is almost over

    Get ready, we’re about to be inundated with postcards from Pluto. On September 5, the New Horizons spacecraft, now more than 62 million kilometers beyond Pluto, will begin a roughly year-long download of all the data it acquired during its brief visit with the dwarf planet in July. Only a few percent of that data was sent to Earth shortly after the encounter.

    It’s about time. Without new...

    09/04/2015 - 17:45 Planetary Science
  • Letters to the Editor

    Lucy's new neighbor, downloading New Horizon's data and more reader feedback

    New Horizons phones home

    In “Pluto: Explored” (SN: 6/27/15, p. 16), Christopher Crockett chronicled New Horizons’ long journey to the dwarf planet. He followed up with a report on the successful flyby in “Pluto’s icy landscape comes into view” (SN: 8/8/15, p. 6).

    “Having read that early images of Pluto encoded in radio waves would take 4.5 hours to reach Earth from the New Horizons space...

    08/12/2015 - 13:56 Astronomy, Neuroscience, Human Evolution
  • News

    Pluto’s icy landscape comes into view

    LAUREL, Md. — Alan Stern, head of the New Horizons mission to Pluto, had just three words for the team of scientists and engineers assembled with him on July 14: “We did it.”

    At 8:52:37 p.m. Eastern time, a radio antenna near Madrid received the first signal from the spacecraft since it buzzed the dwarf planet. After decades of planning and a 9.5-year journey...

    07/26/2015 - 06:00 Planetary Science
  • News

    Mission to Pluto: Live coverage

    The New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT on July 14, 2015. Astronomy writer Christopher Crockett wrote several updates from mission control at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md., from July 12-15, and reviewed some of the mission's major milestones from the last several months. Check our Mission to Pluto editor’s pick for the latest on New Horizons...

    07/15/2015 - 17:39 Planetary Science
  • Feature

    Rendezvous with Pluto

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    Tiny, far-flung Pluto is about to have a visitor — at least for a few hours.

    On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will reach the dwarf planet and try to learn all it can about Pluto and its five known moons. Then the probe will leave Pluto behind, vanishing into the frigid darkness beyond the planets.

    In its wake, New Horizons will introduce Earth to the...

    06/12/2015 - 11:55 Planetary Science, Astronomy
  • Screentime

    An app to track firefly flashings

    A firefly flashing at dusk is an iconic sign of summer. Now you can enjoy these light shows and contribute to science at the same time with a firefly tracking app.

    There are around 2,000 species of these luminescent beetles, which light up the twilight with yellow, greenish or amber light. Scientists at Clemson University in South Carolina are concerned that firefly populations might be...

    07/26/2014 - 09:22 Science & Society, Animals
  • Feature

    Online causes may attract more clicks than commitments

    The Save Darfur Cause on Facebook had all the makings of a slam dunk cyber success. More than a million people joined the social media site’s digital movement a few years ago to save the people of Sudan’s Darfur region from mass slaughter.    

    There was a hitch in Facebook’s humanitarian giddy-up, though: The vast majority of people who enlisted in the Save Darfur Cause recruited no one...

    06/27/2014 - 14:04 Psychology, Networks, Science & Society
  • News

    Sun shines new life on Kepler space telescope

    Reports of Kepler’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

    NASA’s flagship planet hunter, which netted nearly 1,000 confirmed exoplanets during its four-year mission, is getting a second chance at life with a little help from the sun. The space agency has given the new mission, dubbed K2, the go-ahead to start observations at the end of May.

    Kepler was knocked out of commission last...

    05/23/2014 - 13:10 Exoplanets, Astronomy