New Horizons Mission Returns First Images of Pluto's Smallest Known Moons Kerberos and Styx

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has just returned the first long-range images of Kerberos and Styx, the two smallest moons of Pluto. Each animation consists of five 10-second frames which were taken with the onboard LORRI camera between April 25 and May 1At left is the initial set of raw images, while at the center […]

New Horizon's Best Images of Pluto Yet Reveal Terrain and Possible Polar Ice Cap

New Horizons LORRI Optical Navigation Campaign 3, showing a full orbit of the dwarf planet’s moon Charon around Pluto, as well as a full rotation of Pluto itself. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

NASA’s nuclear-powered New Horizons spacecraft has turned Pluto from an astronomy object with just a pinpoint […]

NASA's New Horizons Begins Pluto Approach Phase-2 for July Encounter

Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during closest approach to Pluto on July 14. The spacecraft has enetered Approach Phase 2 earlier this month, swinging the mission’s science observations into high gear. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

If one were to characterise NASA’s New Horizons mission, it […]

New Horizons Ready for Last Wake-Up Call Prior to Start of Historic Pluto Encounter Operations

Artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft approaching Pluto and its system of moons. New Horizons is getting ready to emerge from its electronic hibernation on December 6, in order to begin its final preparations for the start of the Pluto encounter operations in January 2015. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest […]

Hubble Reveals Three Potential Deep Space Objects for New Horizons to Explore After Pluto

An artist’s impression of a Kuiper Belt object (KBO), located on the outer rim of our Solar System at a staggering distance of 4 billion miles from the Sun. A HST survey uncovered three KBOs that are potentially reachable by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft after it passes by Pluto in mid-2015Image Credit: NASA, ESA, […]

Plate Tectonics May Increase Chances for Life on Europa

Europa, with its subsurface ocean, and now evidence for plate tectonics, is a primary goal of exploration in the search for alien life. Processed image copyright: Ted Stryk. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ted Stryk

Jupiter’s moon Europa is a fascinating little world, but particularly so for one reason: water. It’s deep alien ocean underneath the surface […]

'Something Wonderful!': Preparing to Illuminate the Realms of the Planetary Underworld—An Interview With Dr. Alan Stern

A computer-generated impression of the view from the surface of Pluto. The Sun looks like a very bright star on the sky (upper right), while Charon, Pluto’s biggest satellite, looms large near the horizon (at left). Next year, NASA’s New Horizons mission will replace our artistic impressions of the planet and its moons with […]

That Friday Feelin': New Horizons to Pass Key Distance Milestone Today on Journey to Pluto

With 5 Astronomical Units of distance and just 90 weeks to go, New Horizons is primed and ready for its July 2015 rendezvous with Pluto. Image Credit: NASA

Friday is almost universally recognized as an indicator that the weekend draws inexorably closer … but for NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, today will mark a milestone […]

New Horizons Message Initiative Hopes to Send Self-Portrait of Humanity to the Stars

Image Credit: New Horizons Message Initiative (www.newhorizonsmessage.com)

To date, all four of the spacecraft NASA has blasted into the unknown depths of the outer Solar System have carried some kind of message from Earth to the stars. Pioneers 10 and 11, as well as Voyager 1 and 2, all carry an interstellar message from […]

Comet ISON Fizzes Like a Soda Pop

Photo Credit: NASA / SST

Coming soon to a region of space near you: comet ISON, which is expected to put on a spectacular show toward the end of the year. Currently, ISON is about 258 million miles from the Sun, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Its tail already stretches out more than three-quarters of […]