Pluto News
June 17, 2019

Top Headlines

Astronomers using the Gemini Observatory explore Neptune's largest moon Triton and observe, for the first time beyond the lab, an extraordinary union between carbon monoxide ... read more
Computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating layer of gas hydrates could keep a subsurface ocean from freezing beneath Pluto's ... read more

Crater Counts on Pluto, Charon Show Small Kuiper Belt Objects Surprisingly Rare

Using New Horizons data from the Pluto-Charon flyby in 2015, scientists have indirectly discovered a distinct and surprising lack of very small ... read more

Missing-Link in Planet Evolution Found

For the first time ever, astronomers have detected a 1.3 km radius body at the edge of the Solar System. Kilometer sized bodies like the one discovered have been predicted to exist for more than 70 ... read more
Latest Headlines
updated 12:49pm EDT

Earlier Headlines

A Dozen New Moons of Jupiter Discovered, Including One 'Oddball'

Twelve new moons orbiting Jupiter have been found -- 11 'normal' outer moons, and one that they're calling an 'oddball.' Astronomers first spotted the moons in the spring of ... read more

Secrets Behind Pluto's Dunes Revealed

Scientists have discovered dunes on Pluto, and say they are likely to have been formed of methane ice grains released into its rarefied ... read more

Scientists Introduce Cosmochemical Model for Pluto Formation

Scientists integrated NASA's New Horizons discoveries with data from ESA's Rosetta mission to develop a new theory about how Pluto may have formed at the edge of our solar ... read more

Pluto's Largest Moon, Charon, Gets Its First Official Feature Names

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

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. For the dwarf planet Pluto, however, the predicted temperature based on the ... read more

Haumea, the Most Peculiar of Pluto Companions, Has a Ring Around It

The trans-neptunian belt contains four dwarf planets, among which Haumea stands out for its extremely elongated shape and rapid rotation. A stellar occultation makes it possible to establish the main ... read more

Solving the Mystery of Pluto's Giant Blades of Ice

NASA's New Horizons mission revolutionized our knowledge of Pluto when it flew past that distant world in July 2015. Among its many discoveries were images of strange formations resembling giant ... read more

Pluto Features Given First Official Names

The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union has officially approved the naming of 14 features on the surface of Pluto. These are the first geological ... read more

'Dragonfly’ Dual-Quadcopter Aims to Explore Titan, Saturn’s Largest Moon

The Dragonfly mission concept would use an instrumented, radioisotope-powered, dual-quadcopter to explore Saturn's largest moon, Titan, one of our solar system’s “ocean ... read more

How Radioactive Decay Could Support Extraterrestrial Life

In the icy bodies around our solar system, radiation emitted from rocky cores could break up water molecules and support hydrogen-eating microbes. To address this cosmic possibility, a team modeled a ... read more

Moon Orbits Third Largest Dwarf Planet in Our Solar System

Astronomers have uncovered a moon orbiting the third largest dwarf planet, 2007 OR10, in the frigid outskirts of our solar system called the Kuiper ... read more

Meet 'DeeDee,' a Distant, Dim Member of Our Solar System

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 ... read more

Scientists Make the Case to Restore Pluto's Planet Status

Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet. So, he says, is Europa, commonly known as a moon of ... read more

Official Naming of Surface Features on Pluto and Its Satellites: First Step Approved

The New Horizons flyby of Pluto and its satellites returned a scientific treasure trove of information about these distant and surprisingly complex worlds, showing a vast nitrogen glacier as well as ... read more

How a Moon Slows the Decay of Pluto's Atmosphere

A new study provides additional insight into relationship between Pluto and its moon, Charon, and how it affects the continuous stripping of Pluto's atmosphere by solar wind. When Charon is ... read more

Icy Ridges Found on Pluto

Using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather on Earth and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices, a new study has found evidence that snow and ice features ... read more

Modeling Offers New Perspective on How Pluto's 'Icy Heart' Came to Be

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. Of particular interest ... read more

New Analysis Adds Support for a Subsurface Ocean on Pluto

A liquid ocean lying deep beneath Pluto's frozen surface is the best explanation for features revealed by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, according to a new analysis. The idea that Pluto ... read more

Cracked, Frozen and Tipped Over: New Clues from Pluto's Past

New research by planetary scientists reveals fascinating clues about Pluto, suggesting the small world at the fringes of our solar system is much more active than anyone ever ... read more

New Horizons Returns Last Bits of 2015 Flyby Data to Earth

NASA's New Horizons mission reached a major milestone this week when the last bits of science data from the Pluto flyby -- stored on the spacecraft's digital recorders since July 2015 -- ... read more

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