Pluto TOP STORY

The Dark Side of Pluto

© astro-ph.EP

Mars Imaged by Hubble

During its departure from Pluto, New Horizons used its LORRI camera to image a portion of Pluto's southern hemisphere that was in a decades-long seasonal winter darkness, but still very faintly illuminated by sunlight reflected by Charon.


Full Story

Pluto

The Tidal-Thermal Evolution of the Pluto-Charon System

© ESO/L. Cal├žada

Pluto and Charon - Artist's Concept

Existence of subsurface oceans on the satellites of the giant planets and Trans-Neptunian objects has been predicted for some time.

Pluto

SwRI Scientists Confirm Decrease In Pluto's Atmospheric Density

SwRI Scientists Confirm Decrease In Pluto's Atmospheric Density

When Pluto passed in front of a star on the night of August 15, 2018, a Southwest Research Institute-led team of astronomers had deployed telescopes at numerous sites in the U.S. and Mexico.


Pluto

Occultation Confirms Haze in Pluto's Atmosphere

Occultation Confirms Haze in Pluto's Atmosphere

SOFIA observed the occultation by Pluto of a bright star on 29 June 2015, enabling scientists to measure pressure, density, and temperature profiles of the atmosphere of the dwarf planet.


Pluto

The Mountains Of Pluto Are Snowcapped - But Not For The Same Reasons As On Earth

The Mountains Of Pluto Are Snowcapped - But Not For The Same Reasons As On Earth

In 2015, the New Horizons space probe discovered spectacular snowcapped mountains on Pluto, which are strikingly similar to mountains on Earth.


Pluto

Evidence for Hot Start And Early Ocean Formation on Pluto

Evidence for Hot Start And Early Ocean Formation on Pluto

The accretion of new material during Pluto's formation may have generated enough heat to create a liquid ocean that has persisted beneath an icy crust to the present day, despite the dwarf planet's orbit far from the sun in the cold outer reaches of the solar system.


Pluto

SOFIA Finds Hidden Clues in Pluto's Haze

SOFIA Finds Hidden Clues in Pluto's Haze

Observations made with the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) -- a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter telescope -- help explain how Pluto's haze is formed and how the distant Sun affects the dwarf planet from 3.7 billion miles away.


Pluto

Pluto's Icy Heart Makes Winds Blow

Pluto's Icy Heart Makes Winds Blow

A "beating heart" of frozen nitrogen controls Pluto's winds and may give rise to features on its surface, according to a new study.


Pluto

Gas Insulation Could Be Protecting An Ocean Inside Pluto

Gas Insulation Could Be Protecting An Ocean Inside Pluto

A gassy insulating layer beneath the icy surfaces of distant celestial objects could mean there are more oceans in the universe than previously thought.


Pluto

New Horizons Team Publishes Ultima Thule Flyby Science Results

New Horizons Team Publishes Ultima Thule Flyby Science Results

NASA's New Horizons mission team has published the first profile of the farthest world ever explored, a planetary building block and Kuiper Belt object called 2014 MU69.


Pluto

Evidence for Ancient Glaciation on Pluto

Evidence for Ancient Glaciation on Pluto

A letter authored by SETI Institute scientist Oliver White was published by Nature Astronomy today. Co-authors included researchers Jeff Moore, Tanguy Bertrand and Kimberly Ennico at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.


Pluto

Pluto's Moon Charon Gets First Official Feature Names

Pluto's Moon Charon Gets First Official Feature Names

Legendary explorers and visionaries, real and fictitious, are among those immortalized in the first set of official surface-feature names for Pluto's largest moon, Charon.


Pluto

New Horizons Captures Record-Breaking Images in the Kuiper Belt

New Horizons Captures Record-Breaking Images in the Kuiper Belt

With its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), New Horizons has observed several Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and dwarf planets at unique phase angles, as well as Centaurs at extremely high phase angles to search for forward-scattering rings or dust.


Pluto

Does New Horizons' Next Target MU69 Have a Moon?

Does New Horizons' Next Target MU69 Have a Moon?

Scientists were already excited to learn this summer that New Horizons' next flyby target - a Kuiper Belt object a billion miles past Pluto - might be either peanut-shaped or even two objects orbiting one another.


Pluto

An Orbital Dance May Help Preserve Oceans on Icy Worlds

An Orbital Dance May Help Preserve Oceans on Icy Worlds

Heat generated by the gravitational pull of moons formed from massive collisions could extend the lifetimes of liquid water oceans beneath the surface of large icy worlds in our outer solar system, according to new NASA research.


Pluto

Let's Name MU69 After One Of Earth's Greatest Challenges

Let's Name MU69 After One Of Earth's Greatest Challenges

NASA and the SETI Institute are about to complete a competition wherein people get to suggest names for MU69 - the distant body that New Horizons will fly by in January 2019.


Pluto

Pluto's Hydrocarbon Haze Keeps Dwarf Planet Colder Than Expected

Pluto's Hydrocarbon Haze Keeps Dwarf Planet Colder Than Expected

The gas composition of a planet's atmosphere generally determines how much heat gets trapped in the atmosphere.


Pluto

Dwarf Planet Haumea Has A Ring System

Dwarf Planet Haumea Has A Ring System

Ten observatories in six European countries teamed up for recent observations of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Haumea, which surprisingly show a narrow and dense ring orbiting the dwarf planet.


Pluto

Video Depicts Flyover Of Pluto

Video Depicts Flyover Of Pluto Video in Story

In July 2015, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft sent home the first close-up pictures of Pluto and its moons - amazing imagery that inspired many to wonder what a flight over the distant worlds' icy terrain might be like.


Pluto

Video Depicts Flyover Of Pluto's Moon Charon

Video Depicts Flyover Of Pluto's Moon Charon Video in Story

The flight over Charon begins high over the hemisphere New Horizons saw on its closest approach, then descends over the deep, wide canyon of Serenity Chasma.


Pluto

Moon Discovered Orbiting Dwarf Planet 2007 OR10

Moon Discovered Orbiting Dwarf Planet 2007 OR10

The combined power of three space observatories, including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, has helped astronomers uncover a moon orbiting the third largest dwarf planet, catalogued as 2007 OR10.


Pluto

ALMA Investigates DeeDee - 2014 UZ224

ALMA Investigates DeeDee - 2014 UZ224

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have revealed extraordinary details about a recently discovered far-flung member of our solar system, the planetary body 2014 UZ224, more informally known as DeeDee.


Pluto

What Would It Be Like to Actually Land on Pluto?

What Would It Be Like to Actually Land on Pluto? Video in Story

What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015.


Pluto

New Insight Into Pluto's Bladed Terrain

New Insight Into Pluto's Bladed Terrain

Using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices, scientists have found evidence of snow and ice features on Pluto that, until now, had only been seen on Earth.


Pluto

Modeling Pluto's Icy Heart

Modeling Pluto's Icy Heart

Pluto's "icy heart" is a bright, two-lobed feature on its surface that has attracted researchers ever since its discovery by the NASA New Horizons team in 2015


Pluto

Pluto's Icy Slushy Heart

Pluto's Icy Slushy Heart

Beneath Pluto's "heart" lies a cold, slushy ocean of water ice, according to data from NASA's New Horizons mission.


Pluto

New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target Is Reddish

New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target Is Reddish

The next target for NASA's New Horizons mission -- which made a historic flight past Pluto in July 2015 -- apparently bears a colorful resemblance to its famous, main destination.



More top stories.