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Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.

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

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.

Looking back at Pluto

I don't think anyone was prepared for the beauty -- or the instant scientific discoveries -- in this

What in the world(s) are tholins?

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: Awaiting the data

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.

The not-planets

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.

Zooming in to Pluto and Charon

In the span of a few days, Pluto and Charon have turned from spots into worlds. The latest images from New Horizons are showing Pluto and Charon to have unique faces, distinct from any other icy worlds in the solar system.

Explore Pluto in Google Earth!

The Pluto encounter team is producing the first maps of Pluto using images collected by New Horizons. You can now easily download the map and explore the best Pluto maps ever made!

New Horizons is a Triumph for Space Advocates

New Horizons—what will be NASA’s greatest success of 2015—was cancelled multiple times in its early life, and many times before that in its previous incarnations. A mission to Pluto was not inevitable, despite the overwhelming scientific and public excitement.

Pluto's progression: Third-to-last Pluto day before encounter

Only two days remain until New Horizons' historic encounter with Pluto....two Pluto days, that is. Pluto and Charon rotate together once every 6.4 days, so as New Horizons has approached the pair over the last week, we've been treated to one stately progression of all of their longitudes.

Pluto and Charon spin among the stars

I've spent a happy couple of days playing with raw data downloaded from the New Horizons website, making animations of the dances of Pluto and Charon.

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