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Pluto News

New research: Pluto should be reclassified as a planet

A new review by astronomers calls for Pluto to be re-classified as a planet, stating that the reasons given for downgrading the celestial body were invalid. If successful, Pluto would be reinstated as the ninth planet in the solar system.

Essential Science: Methane ice dunes found on Pluto

Houston - Methane ice dunes have been detected on the surface of Pluto, by NASA spacecraft. The structures offer a new insight into the dwarf planet and with the differences in planetary structures within our solar system.

NASA scientists want Pluto to become a planet again

A group of NASA scientists want Pluto’s status as a planet restored. Eleven years ago, the ninth planet in the solar system was downgraded to that of a dwarf planet. To scientists who are working on journeys to Pluto, that is simply not good enough.

Essential Science: What would landing on Pluto be like?

This week’s Essential Science takes a step into speculative science (fiction) and discusses some new research that wonders what landing on the surface of the dwarf planet Pluto would be like.

X-ray mystery surrounds Pluto

Houston - The dwarf planet Pluto continues to tantalize. This follows news that stream of photons have been detected streaming from the planet and into space. The mystery is the planet has no obvious way of making these high-energy photons.

Clouds spotted swirling around Pluto

Despite the downgrading of Pluto from a planet (and the ninth in the solar system) to a dwarf planet, much about the far-flung celestial object remains a mystery. A new puzzle involves the presence of clouds.

NASA detects new moon in our solar system

Houston - A new moon around a dwarf planet has been detected beyond the reaches of Pluto. This has been detected by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.

NASA releases 'best close-ups' of Pluto

Washington - The US space agency has released a series of sharp Pluto snapshots, billing them as the best close-ups of the dwarf planet we may see for decades.

NASA's New Horizons Probe captures Pluto's blue hazes

“Who would have expected a blue sky in the Kuiper Belt? It’s gorgeous,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado.

Could there be life on the amazing and mysterious Pluto?

The data coming in from the New Horizons spacecraft's mission to Pluto proves that the Universe is, if nothing else, full of surprises.

New Horizons: Solar wind stripping away Pluto's atmosphere

Baltimore - The latest data from NASA’s Pluto probe, New Horizons, suggests the dwarf planet’s atmosphere is being stripped away by the solar wind and lost to space.

Data from Pluto mission expected to keep arriving for 16 months

Laurel - The universe itself may be billions of years old, but that doesn't mean all of its components were created at the same time.

NASA releases first photos of Pluto's moon Nix

Palo Alto - NASA's long-journeying New Horizons spaceship has turned its attention to the five moons of Pluto as it sails by the solar system's most-distant denizens.

U.S. spacecraft sending back data for Pluto close-up

Laurel - Scientists are receiving data that will offer the closest look ever of Pluto later Wednesday, after the unmanned NASA spacecraft whizzed by the distant dwarf planet.After a three-billion-mile (4.

Pluto: Flyby makes history and wows world

NASA's New Horizons made history by being the first spacecraft to reach the dwarf planet Pluto, the last unexplored world in the solar system.

NASA counts down to nail-biter Pluto flyby

Miami - After a near decade-long journey, an unmanned NASA spacecraft will make a close shave past Pluto on Tuesday, offering scientists a detailed glimpse of the dwarf planet's surface for the first time.

How to watch New Horizons reach Pluto tomorrow

When it comes to landmark achievements in space exploration, tomorrow — July 14 — will be a date for the history books as the day humanity reached Pluto for the first time.

NASA craft discovers heart shape on Pluto as flyby nears

Miami - There's a near-perfect heart shape on Pluto's rusty red surface which scientists are seeing for the first time as a piano-sized NASA spacecraft, New Horizons, hurtles toward the distant body on its way toward a historic flyby on July 14.

3 days until NASA space probe New Horizons reaches Pluto

After nine-and-a-half years of exploration, NASA's Space probe "New Horizons" has only three days remaining in its three-million-mile journey to Pluto.

NASA releases clearest photo ever of Pluto and its biggest moon

Right now, a piano-sized spacecraft is barreling through space at over 36,000 mph with an important destination: the dwarf planet Pluto and its system of five moons.

Pluto: Observing chaos at solar system's outer limits

Munich - Gathering all available telescope data on the minor planet Pluto and its satellites from NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), two astronomers have carried out the most in depth analysis yet of one of the solar systems great mysteries.

Pluto may have polar ice caps and nitrogen snow

NASA scientists are describing images of Pluto coming in from the New Horizon spacecraft as "incredible" and "stunning." The photos seem to show that the planet has ice caps, something which astronomers hadn't predicted.

Two unknown Earth-sized planets may be part of Solar System

Scientists tracking the orbits of objects on the extreme edge of our solar system believe that there is a good chance that two planets, at least as large as Earth may exist out there.

35 years on, is Voyager 1 bidding farewell to the Solar System?

On September 5 1977, NASA’s Voyager 1 left Cape Canaveral. Thirty-five years later, Voyager continues to transmit data back to Earth and may now, finally, have stepped beyond the perimeter of the Solar System.

'Vulcan' overwhelming choice of names for Pluto's smallest moons

Mountain View - Star Trek fans have reason to celebrate after learning their choice for the name of one of Pluto's smallest moon is the overwhelming favorite.

Pluto's Doppelganger? Latest interplanetary research

Astronomers have made a detailed analysis of the dwarf planet Eris, located at the edge of our solar system. The findings indicate that Eris has very similar dimensions and physical features to Pluto. The news represents a major astronomical discovery.

Stripped of planet-hood, Pluto still interesting to NASA

Even before the defamation that comes with being stripped of planet-hood, scientists launched the New Horizons expedition to Pluto, and today marks a couple of very special anniversaries.

Fourth Pluto moon found

A fourth moon has been discovered orbiting Pluto, NASA announced on Wednesday. The discovery was made using the Hubble Space Telescope.

Hubble takes first pics of Pluto’s surface

Pluto is cute. It’s an elegant little gold and black ball, and even if it’s no longer called a planet, I’d like to adopt it. Hubble took four years to put these pictures together, and they’re fuzzy but intriguing.

Woman Who Named Pluto at 11, Dies at 90

Planets are named after mythological gods, not Disney dogs, and to her dying day at age 90, Venetia Burney Phair of Epson, England, insisted she did not come up with the name “Pluto” because of Disney’s cartoon dog.
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Pluto Image

The Pluto system as we know it today. Four small moons--Styx  Nix  Kerberos and Hydra  orbit the cen...
The Pluto system as we know it today. Four small moons--Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra, orbit the central "binary planet" comprising Pluto and its large, nearby moon Charon.
NASA/STScI/Showalter
Pluto is shown on the right with its moon  Charon
Pluto is shown on the right with its moon, Charon
NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI
NASA Celebrates New Horizons  Closest Approach to Pluto: Guests and New Horizons team members countd...
NASA Celebrates New Horizons' Closest Approach to Pluto: Guests and New Horizons team members countdown to the spacecraft's closest approach to Pluto, on July 14, 2015 at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.
NASA / Bill Ingalls
New Horizons NASA spacecraft
New Horizons NASA spacecraft
NASA
Untitled
NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI
Illustration showing the scale and comparative brightness of Pluto’s small satellites. Pluto’s b...
Illustration showing the scale and comparative brightness of Pluto’s small satellites. Pluto’s binary companion, Charon, is at the bottom for scale. The image illustrates that two of the moons are highly oblate and that the reflectivity among the moons varies from dark charcoal to the brightness of sand.Hubble can't resolve surface features on the moons so textures are purely for illustration purposes.
NASA, ESA, A. Field (STScI)
Untitled
Dr. R. Albrecht, ESA/ESO Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility; NASA
The overview of the New Horizon journey to the binary system  Pluto and Charon  and beyond
The overview of the New Horizon journey to the binary system, Pluto and Charon, and beyond
NASA New Horizon
The final results of the Pluto Rocks moon naming contest
The final results of the Pluto Rocks moon naming contest
Screen Capture
LORRI  the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager  shown through details of a schematic.
LORRI, the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager, shown through details of a schematic.
NASA
These are the most recent high-resolution views of Pluto sent by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft  i...
These are the most recent high-resolution views of Pluto sent by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, including one showing the four mysterious dark spots on Pluto that have captured the imagination of the world. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) obtained these three images between July 1 and 3 of 2015, prior to the July 4 anomaly that sent New Horizons into safe mode.
NASA
Artist’s impression of the solar wind ineracting with Pluto’s mainly nitrogen atmosphere. Some o...
Artist’s impression of the solar wind ineracting with Pluto’s mainly nitrogen atmosphere. Some of the molecules in the atmosphere have enough energy to overcome Pluto’s weak gravity, so escape into space where they are ionized by solar ultraviolet radiation. As the solar wind encounters the obstacle formed by the ions, it is slowed and diverted (the red region), possibly forming a shock wave upstream of Pluto. The ions are “picked up” by the solar wind and carried in its flow past the
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Artist s impression of Pluto
Artist's impression of Pluto
NASA
The moons of Pluto
The moons of Pluto
Hubble Site
Pluto as seen by New Horizons at a distance of 800 000 kilometers. This image taken July clearly sho...
Pluto as seen by New Horizons at a distance of 800,000 kilometers. This image taken July clearly shows two darker areas thought to cmprise tholins deposited on Pluto's surface
John Hopkins University
New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a giant surprise -- a range of youthfu...
New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a giant surprise -- a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body.
NASA / JHU APL / SwRI
Untitled
NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI
High-resolution image of Pluto taken by New Horizons spacecraft on July 3  2015
High-resolution image of Pluto taken by New Horizons spacecraft on July 3, 2015
NASA
CLOSEUP: The dwarf planet Pluto as photographed by the LORRI and Ralph instruments aboard the New Ho...
CLOSEUP: The dwarf planet Pluto as photographed by the LORRI and Ralph instruments aboard the New Horizons spacecraft on July 13.
NASA-JHUAPL-SWRI/Wikimedia Commons
Image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft
Image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft,
NASA SwRI JHUAPL