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

2007 OR10 Needs a Name!

It’s time to give 2007 OR10 a name. We’re asking for your help to pick a suitable name for the largest as-yet-unnamed solar system world to submit to the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Some big moons in the Kuiper belt

In a new preprint, Mike Brown and Bryan Butler show evidence that two Kuiper belt moons are even bigger than we used to think. They are Eris' moon Dysnomia, and Orcus' moon Vanth.

DPS/EPSC update: 2007 OR10 has a moon!

The third-largest object known beyond Neptune, 2007 OR10, has a moon. The discovery was reported in a poster by Gábor Marton, Csaba Kiss, and Thomas Mueller at the joint meeting of the European Planetary Science Congress and the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society (DPS/EPSC) on Monday.

A Moon for Makemake

The solar system beyond Neptune is full of worlds hosting moons. Now we know that the dwarf planet Makemake has one of its very own.

Pluto updates from AGU and DPS: Pretty pictures from a confusing world

Pluto is reluctant to give up its secrets. Last week at the American Geophysical Union meeting I attended sessions featuring results from the New Horizons mission, and most of the presentations could be summed up thusly: the data sets are terrific, but there are still a lot of Pluto features that have scientists scratching their heads.

Charon in 3D

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

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.

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

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Space is vast. There's a lot of exploring to do.

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