Fall Science Preview: So Much Science is Headed Right for Us!

‘Tis the season for dwarf planets with an impending flood of Pluto flyby data and Dawn just about to point its spectrometer at the weird white spots on Ceres. Add in ocean floor explorations, a pair of weights in perpetual free-fall, and a rash of rocket launches and we just know this year is going out in a bang of… » 8/26/15 4:45pm Wednesday 4:45pm

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. » 7/25/15 12:40pm 7/25/15 12:40pm

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 1:25am 7/23/15 1:25am

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. » 7/18/15 12:36pm 7/18/15 12:36pm

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 2:57pm 7/17/15 2:57pm

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 5:00pm 7/16/15 5:00pm

The Ice of Pluto is More Diverse Than We Realized


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 3:20pm 7/16/15 3:20pm

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 9:24am 7/15/15 9:24am

Why It'll Take New Horizons 16 Months to Send Us This Week's Data

Early this morning, NASA rolled out the highest-resolution image of Pluto to date, taken 16 hours before today’s historic flyby. Tomorrow, we’ll receive a new set of images at a resolution ten times higher. And Pluto Christmas is just getting started, because it’s going to take NASA 16 full months to download all the… » 7/14/15 7:40pm 7/14/15 7:40pm