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

China Considers Voyager-like Mission to Interstellar Space

The mission includes a flyby of Neptune and measurements of the heliosphere, the electrically charged gas bubble surrounding our solar system

Here's How the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will Revolutionize Small-Body Science

The LSST is expected to increase the number of known small bodies by more than a factor of 10.

The People Have Voted on 2007 OR10's Future Name!

Gonggong is the fan favorite name for this icy distant world, but the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) Committee for Small-Body Nomenclature has the final say.

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).

Looking Back at MU69

A crescent view of MU69 reveals its bizarre shape. Let's look at lots of other fun-shaped space crescents.

A few new images of MU69

New Horizons is back in action after going quiet for a period of solar conjunction following the 1 January flyby of 2014 MU69 (informally nicknamed

MU69 appears as a bi-lobed baby comet in latest New Horizons images

The latest images downlinked from New Horizons show MU69 to be a textbook example of a contact binary. How do contact binaries form? Updated with images released on 3 January.

New Horizons fast approaching 2014 MU69

Unaffected by the shutdown of the U.S. government, New Horizons is still on course for its New Year’s encounter with 2014 MU69 (nicknamed “Ultima Thule”). This post collects the latest images from New Horizons' approach to the tiny Kuiper belt object and will be updated regularly.

What to Expect When New Horizons Visits 2014 MU69, Ultima Thule

New Horizons is rapidly approaching its New Year’s encounter with the most distant world ever visited, 2014 MU69. Closest approach will be at a distance of 3,500 kilometers at about 05:33 on 1 January UTC.

NASA Then & Now

A collection of before and after slider images showing how views of planets in our solar system have changed over the years since NASA was created.

'Everything about this flyby is tougher': New Horizons just over 100 days from Ultima Thule

On Jan. 1, NASA's New Horizons will perform a high-risk, high-reward flyby of an ancient world on the outskirts of the solar system.

OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons catch first sight of their targets

Both OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons achieved first light on their still-distant targets this week. Between now and the end of 2018, Bennu and 2014 MU69 will turn from points of light into places.

Sketching a science meeting

The Planetary Society has always enjoyed the connections between science and art, so when I saw Leila Qışın's sketches pop up on her Twitter feed during the recent New Horizons team meeting, I knew I had to share them with you.

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.

New Horizons prepares for encounter with 2014 MU69

Throughout 2018, New Horizons will cruise toward its January 1 encounter with 2014 MU69. Preparations for the flyby are nearly complete.

Explore spinnable Saturn and Jupiter moons with Google Maps

Google Maps released several new map products that allow you to see the locations of named features on many solar system planets and non-planets, spinning them around in space with your mouse.

Planetary Society-funded telescopes help find ring around Haumea, a distant dwarf planet

Haumea has a ring! Two telescopes used in the discovery—one in Slovenia, and one in Italy—received funding from The Planetary Society's Shoemaker Near Earth Object (NEO) Grant program, which helps amateur astronomers find, track and characterize near-Earth asteroids.

In total eclipse of a star, New Horizons' future flyby target makes its presence known

The team reported two weeks ago that the first attempts at observing 2014 MU69 were unsuccessful. But in their third try, on July 17, astronomers in Argentina saw the telltale sign of MU69's presence: a stellar wink.

When New Horizons' next target passed in front of a star, this scientist was watching from Argentina

A team of scientists recently traveled to rural Argentina in the hopes of catching New Horizons' next target—Kuiper Belt object MU 69—crossing in front of a distant star.

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