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New camera improves a California near-Earth asteroid program

Bruce Betts • December 29, 2014

A new camera is improving the efficiency of the Near-Earth Asteroid Program at the Center for Solar System Studies. This update from Shoemaker NEO Grant winner Bob Stephens reveals amazing recent progress using his 2013 Planetary Society grant.

Finally! New Horizons has a second target

Emily Lakdawalla • October 15, 2014 • 20

What a huge relief: there is finally a place for New Horizons to visit beyond Pluto. A team of researchers led by John Spencer has discovered three possible targets, all in the Cold Classical part of the Kuiper belt. One is particularly easy to reach. New Horizons would fly past the 30-45-kilometer object in January 2019.

Twinkling worlds in motion: New Horizons' first optical navigation images of Pluto and Charon

Emily Lakdawalla • August 07, 2014 • 15

What's that in the distance? A binary star? Those are two little round worlds dancing in circles, whirling around a point in space located between the two of them. It's Pluto and Charon, clearly separated by New Horizons' camera.

Hubble to the rescue! The last-ditch effort to discover a Kuiper belt target for New Horizons

Emily Lakdawalla • June 17, 2014 • 5

Will New Horizons have a mission after Pluto? Ground-based searches have failed to turn up anything that New Horizons can reach. Now Hubble is joining the search, but time is running out: a discovery must be made within the next two months.

Will we find signs of tectonics on Pluto? And what would that mean?

Joseph O'Rourke • May 26, 2014 • 1

Joseph O’Rourke summarizes a recently submitted paper on tectonic activity on Pluto after the Charon-forming impact.

When will we know which is bigger, Pluto or Eris?

Emily Lakdawalla • April 30, 2014 • 8

We don't currently know whether Pluto is the biggest thing in the Kuiper belt or not. When will New Horizons give us the answer?

This is the post where you can comment about the IAU planet definition

Emily Lakdawalla • April 30, 2014 • 36

An attempt to corral the discussion of the IAU planet definition in one place on planetary.org, so that we may be free to actually discuss Kuiper belt observations and scientific results on posts elsewhere on this site.

Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 10: Trans Neptunian Objects including Pluto, KBOs, Comets

Bruce Betts • April 18, 2014

Explore the worlds beyond Neptune including Pluto, Kuiper Belt Objects and comets in this video of class 10 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.

More excitement in the outermost solar system: 2013 FY27, a new dwarf planet

Emily Lakdawalla • April 02, 2014 • 7

On the heels of last weeks reports of a second Sedna and a ringed Centaur comes a third cool outer solar system discovery: A new, likely large member of the Kuiper belt. With an absolute magnitude of about 3.0, the new object currently known as 2013 FY27 is the tenth brightest object beyond Neptune .

Hangout on Air: Why yesterday was a good day for Solar System Science

Emily Lakdawalla • March 27, 2014

On Wednesday, March 26, two important discoveries in the outer solar system were announced: the discovery of the second confirmed member of the Inner Oort Cloud (2012 VP113) and the discovery of rings around the planetesimal Chariklo. In a Hangout on Air, a rag-tag group of planetary scientists and astronomers active on Twitter talked about the discoveries.

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