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  • Pluto
  • cows grazing
  • five moons of Pluto
Your search has returned 27 articles:
  • Feature

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

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    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
  • Feature

    Getting creative to cut methane from cows

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    In a pasture outside Edmonton, Canada, you’ll find a few dozen cows doing what cows do: mostly eating. The average animal spends eight-plus hours a day filling its belly, or as is the case with cows, bellies. Along with that enormous appetite, cows are born with the ability to digest almost any plant they can chew, thanks to a multichambered stomach and a helpful army of...

    11/18/2015 - 16:36 Animals, Microbes, Climate
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Feature

    The long and winding Colorado

    Standing on a mesa high above the town of Rifle, Colo., Andres Aslan is having a hard time staying quiet. The lanky geologist from nearby Colorado Mesa University normally speaks in a low-key professorial drone. But here, looking down at a sprawling river valley blazing with autumnal cottonwoods, his enthusiasm cranks up his volume. “This could be it,” says Aslan, gesticulating wildly. “This...

    01/10/2014 - 14:00 Earth, Planetary Science
  • Feature

    Deep network

    Gas bubbles effervesce from a mound of muck on the seafloor in a deep submarine canyon off the west coast of Canada. Microbes beneath the sediment belch the bubbles after feasting on the ancient remains of algae, sea critters and their poop: a primordial stew that’s been simmering since long before humans walked the Earth.

    This gassy oasis attracts an odd collection of critters. Worms...

    10/04/2013 - 15:00 Earth, Technology
  • Feature

    The 3-D Printing Revolution

    Joshua Pearce takes unusual satisfaction in strolling through Walmart. The shelves laden with toys, household items, tools and clothing inspire in him a certain smugness, a pride in American entrepreneurship. But it’s not because Pearce admires the chain as an empire built by a self-made man. Pearce swells with pride at Walmart because the store is full of mass-manufactured objects that he...

    02/20/2013 - 23:31 Technology, Computing
  • Science & the Public

    De-papering environmental summits

    This week, the United Nations hosted a major conclave in Rio de Janeiro — the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development. Widely referred to as Rio+20, its timing commemorated the 20th anniversary of the so-called Earth Summit in this Brazilian capital. As one token — but highly visible — gesture toward sustainability, the new event encouraged all attendees to shrink their paper footprints....

    06/22/2012 - 11:38 Humans & Society, Earth & Environment