Stories, updates, insights, and original analysis from The Planetary Society.
DPS/EPSC update on New Horizons at the Pluto system and beyond
Last week's Division for Planetary Sciences/European Planetary Science Congress meeting was chock-full of science from New Horizons at Pluto.
Rapidly Rotating Regular Satellites and Tides
Pluto’s small moons have unusual rotation rates and states. Now we know a moon of another dwarf planet does as well. Is there a connection?
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.
DPS 2015: Pluto's small moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra [UPDATED]
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.
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.
Roundup of the September 11, 2015 New Horizons raw image release
Last Friday the Internet received its first post-encounter pile of goodies from the New Horizons flyby of the Pluto system.
Looking back at Pluto
I don't think anyone was prepared for the beauty -- or the instant scientific discoveries -- in this
New Horizons encounter plus one week: Weird and wonderful images from the Pluto system
So many new image goodies from the Pluto system!
First look at New Horizons' Pluto and Charon images: "baffling in a very interesting and wonderful way"
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.
What to expect when you're expecting a flyby: Planning your July around New Horizons' Pluto Pictures (version 2)
Three months ago, I posted an article explaining what to expect during the flyby. This is a revised version of the same post, with some errors corrected, the expected sizes of Nix and Hydra updated, and times of press briefings added.
New Horizons update: Resolving features on Charon and seeing in color
Only about three weeks remain until the flyby — it's getting really close! I almost don't want the anticipation to end. New Horizons is now getting color images and is seeing features on Charon. Deep searches have yielded no new moons.
Telling Pluto’s Story, One Fragment at a Time
Mark Showalter explains how determining basic information about Pluto's small moons—Kerberos and Styx—is more complicated than initially thought.
New Horizons spots Kerberos and Styx
New Horizons has now spotted every one of Pluto's satellites...all the ones we know about, that is.
New Horizons sees surface features on Pluto, begins raw image release
Today the New Horizons team released a new animation of images taken on approach to Pluto. The animation clearly shows how Pluto wobbles around the Pluto-Charon barycenter. It also shows something more exciting to the scientists: variations in brightness across the surface of Pluto. They also began releasing raw images to the Internet.
What to expect when you're expecting a flyby: Planning your July around New Horizons' Pluto pictures
As New Horizons approaches Pluto, when will the images get good? In this explainer, I tell you what images will be coming down from Pluto, when. Mark your calendars!
Pluto Science, on the Surface
New Horizons' Principal Investigator Alan Stern gives an update on the mission's progress toward Pluto.
New Horizons spots Nix and Hydra circling Pluto and Charon
A series of images just sent to Earth from New Horizons clearly shows Pluto's moons Nix and Hydra orbiting the Pluto-Charon binary.
New Horizons returns first images from mission's Pluto approach phase
Here they are, the first images of Pluto from the approach phase of the New Horizons mission. Science has begun; we're on the home stretch!
New Horizons to take new photos of Pluto and Charon, beginning optical navigation campaign
Technically, Pluto science observations don't begin for New Horizons until 2015, but the spacecraft will take a series of photos of Pluto and Charon from July 20 to 27 as it begins the first of four optical navigation campaigns.
Predicting Pluto's moons and moondust
Why didn't we discover Pluto's moons until more than a decade after Hubble launched? Mark Showalter helps me answer this question.