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DPS 2015: Pluto's small moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra [UPDATED]

Emily Lakdawalla • November 10, 2015

For my first post on results from the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting, I'm going to tell you about Pluto's small moons: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra, their bright colors and wacky rotation states.

The round worlds in the solar system: An updated graphic

Emily Lakdawalla • November 02, 2015

I have a newly updated scale comparison graphic to share: all the round worlds in the solar system smaller than 10,000 kilometers in diameter, now with added Pluto, Charon, and Ceres.

Charon in 3D

Emily Lakdawalla • October 13, 2015

Last week, the pile of New Horizons LORRI camera raw image releases included nine frames from a high-resolution mosaic on Charon. Together with the color MVIC view, they make a 3D global photo of Pluto's moon. Other recently released goodies include a global backlit color image of Pluto and the first image that resolves the tiny moon Styx.

New Horizons releases new color pictures of Charon, high-resolution lookback photo of Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • October 02, 2015

Now that New Horizons is regularly sending back data, the mission is settling into a routine of releasing a set of captioned images on Thursdays, followed by raw LORRI images on Friday. The Thursday releases give us the opportunity to see lovely color data from the spacecraft's Ralph MVIC instrument. This week, the newly available color data set covered Charon.

Lose yourself in this high-resolution portrait of Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • September 24, 2015

Enlarge this image to its full 8000-pixel-square glory and lose yourself in it.

Spectacular New Horizons photo of Pluto's hazes and mountains: How it was made

Emily Lakdawalla • September 17, 2015

Today, New Horizons released a stunning new image of Pluto's backlit mountains and hazes. I explain how the image was taken with its Ralph Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera.

Roundup of the September 11, 2015 New Horizons raw image release

Emily Lakdawalla • September 15, 2015

Last Friday the Internet received its first post-encounter pile of goodies from the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system.

Pretty Pictures: Downlink of the Full New Horizons Data Set Has Begun

Emily Lakdawalla • September 10, 2015

New Horizons has begun the long process of downlinking all the images it acquired during its July Pluto flyby.

New Horizons extended mission target selected

Emily Lakdawalla and Casey Dreier • September 01, 2015

The New Horizons mission has formally selected its next target after Pluto: a tiny, dim, frozen world currently named 2014 MU69. The spacecraft will perform a series of four rocket firings in October and November to angle its trajectory to pass close by 2014 MU69 in early January 2019. In so doing, New Horizons will become the first flyby craft to pass by a target that was not discovered before the spacecraft launched.

Three space fan visualizations of New Horizons' Pluto-Charon flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • August 25, 2015

It has been a difficult wait for new New Horizons images, but the wait is almost over; Alan Stern announced at today's Outer Planets Advisory Group meeting that image downlink will resume September 5. In the meantime, a few space fans are making the most of the small amount of data that has been returned to date.

New Robotic Spacecraft Posters

Bill Dunford • August 06, 2015

Another round of posters to celebrate historic planetary missions.

Looking back at Pluto

Emily Lakdawalla • July 24, 2015

I don't think anyone was prepared for the beauty -- or the instant scientific discoveries -- in this "lookback" image of Pluto, captured by New Horizons shortly after it flew by.

What in the world(s) are tholins?

Sarah Hörst • July 22, 2015

The question “why is Pluto red” has been answered with a word that most people have never heard of and perhaps even fewer people can actually define—“tholins”.

New Horizons encounter plus one week: Weird and wonderful images from the Pluto system

Emily Lakdawalla • July 21, 2015

So many new image goodies from the Pluto system!

New Horizons: Awaiting the data

Emily Lakdawalla • July 19, 2015

New Horizons' encounter and data downlinks have been going exactly as planned, but the raw image website has not been updated for many days. What's going on? I found out.

Latest New Horizons picture of Charon: oddly familiar

Emily Lakdawalla • July 16, 2015

The New Horizons team released one more picture from Tuesday's encounter, one of three high-resolution images from a mosaic that crossed the center of Charon's disk, and it took me a while to figure out what it reminded me of.

First look at New Horizons' Pluto and Charon images: "baffling in a very interesting and wonderful way"

Emily Lakdawalla • July 15, 2015

Today's press briefing at the Applied Physics Laboratory in California was preceded by hours of New Horizons team members cryptically dropping hints on Twitter at astonishing details in the seven images downlinked since the flyby. The images are, in fact, astonishing, as well as beautiful, surprising, and puzzling.

New Horizons "phones home" after Pluto flyby

Emily Lakdawalla • July 14, 2015

After a wait of more than 22 hours with no communication, New Horizons "phoned home" precisely on schedule after its flyby of Pluto. The signal was received at 00:52:37 UT | 20:52:37 ET | 17:52:37 PT. As planned, New Horizons returned no images with the Phone Home downlink. But every bit of telemetry indicated that the flyby executed successfully.

The not-planets

Emily Lakdawalla • July 14, 2015

Now that I have a reasonable-resolution global color view of Pluto, I can drop it into one of my trademark scale image montages, to show you how it fits in with the rest of the similar-sized worlds in the solar system: the major moons and the biggest asteroids.

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