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Hitch a Ride on New Horizons in Latest Flyover Animation from Pluto

That’s it. I’m packing my bags, hitching a ride on the next rocket, and finding a way to skate on the icy nitrogen glaciers of Pluto. The latest flover animation from New Horizons data takes us soaring in the skies over the aching expanses of Sputnik Planum and the jagged teeth of Hillary Montes. » 7/24/15 10:40pm 7/24/15 10:40pm

Newly-Discovered Mountains on Pluto Finally Have Those Missing Craters

After all our confusion over Pluto’s strangely smooth and young terrain in the Tombaugh Regio, it’s almost a relief to start seeing craters in the latest close-up photos. In the latest image release, we’ve discovered a second mountain range in dark, old cratered terrain.
» 7/23/15 3:30am 7/23/15 3:30am

Pluto's Atmosphere is Billowing Away into Space

Pluto just can’t stop blowing our minds. Not only is it a geologically active world with ice mountains the size of the Rockies and frozen plains of methane and nitrogen, we’ve just learned that Pluto’s atmosphere is pouring away into space. It’s leaving a massive tail of charged plasma in its wake. » 7/18/15 10:00am 7/18/15 10:00am

Soar Over Pluto's Heart at 77,000 Kilometers in This New Animation

This animated flyover of the Norgay mountains and Sputnik plains on Pluto are based on the freshly-delivered close-approach images from the New Horizons flyby. See features just a single kilometre big as you experience what it would be like to hitch a ride on the spacecraft as it skimmed past the dwarf planet. » 7/17/15 3:00pm 7/17/15 3:00pm

Pluto's Moon Nix is a Perfect Little World in Latest New Horizons Photos

Nix is one of the smaller moons of Pluto, paired with Hydra after the massive Charon. Until this morning, the most detailed view we’d ever had was only a few pixels large. Now we’re seeing this elongated rock from just half a million kilometers away in the highest resolution photo we’re getting from New Horizons. » 7/17/15 1:21pm 7/17/15 1:21pm

We Can Thank Plutonium for Everything We've Learned About Pluto

Our epic journey to Pluto has been filled with cosmic coincidences. Crossing Neptune’s orbit 25 years to the day after Voyager 2. Zipping by Pluto 50 years on the nose after our first Mars encounter. But my favorite serendipitous fact of all has to do with how we’ve powered the entire New Horizons mission—using none… » 7/16/15 8:30pm 7/16/15 8:30pm

Charon Poses a Geomorphic Riddle: How do You Make a Mountain in a Moat? 

Hi, Charon! What’s that? You’re jealous that Pluto broke the brains of geophysicists worldwide yesterday, and want attention? Fine, let’s see what you look like up close! Beautiful craters, lovely smooth plains, a few cool linear features... Wait a minute, is that a mountain in a moat? How did you create that?! » 7/16/15 5:50pm 7/16/15 5:50pm

The Ice of Pluto is More Diverse Than We Realized

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We give up: Pluto is out to surprise us. This time it’s the ice. We thought it’d be easy once we confirmed ice caps of methane and nitrogen, but the story is much more complicated. The entire world has methane ice, but it’s concentrated at the equator and relatively thin at the pole.
» 7/16/15 2:20pm 7/16/15 2:20pm

Do You Want New Horizons to Keep Exploring? Write to Congress!

The New Horizons space probe is sending back incredible data from the Pluto-Charon system, even shaking the foundations of planetary geophysics. The spacecraft has the capacity to make another flyby of a second Kuiper Belt Object, with all-new data to shape our ideas about our solar system. All it takes is money. » 7/16/15 3:00am 7/16/15 3:00am

We Get the Best Space Images When Scientists Pull All-Nighters

Fifty years ago today, the Mariner 4 mission sent home the first images of Mars. Today, the New Horizons probe sent home gloriously detailed photos of Pluto. Despite the intervening decades, the vibrant excitement of the mission scientists staying up all night to see that first image is exactly the same. » 7/15/15 7:30am 7/15/15 7:30am

Watch Neil deGrasse Tyson and Stephen Colbert Geek Out Over Pluto

Stephen Colbert and Neil deGrasse Tyson are rightfully excited about the successful Pluto flyby of New Horizons. They’re so excited that they made a little video where Colbert brings his trademark layman curiosity to the proceedings (while also correcting Tyson on Pluto’s size and the temperature of the 9th circle of… » 7/15/15 1:30am 7/15/15 1:30am