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Atom & Cosmos

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Charon

MOONSTRUCK  Details of Charon, the largest of Pluto’s five moons, were finally seen clearly in 2015 when the New Horizons mission passed within 13,000 kilometers of Pluto’s surface.

TESS launch on Falcon 9 rocket

UP, UP AND AWAY  NASA’s TESS telescope launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on April 18 on a mission to search for planets orbiting nearby, bright stars.

illustration of early solar system collisions

HERE TODAY  Violent collisions in the early solar system, illustrated here, probably broke apart would-be planets — but diamonds forged in those planets’ cores may have made it to Earth as meteorites.

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