Historic First Close-Ups From New Horizons Reveals Dramatic Worlds Billions of Miles Away

Pluto’s largest moon Charon (left) has a surprising youthful and varied terrain, with cliffs, troughs, and a dark marking nicknamed “Mordor” in the moon’s north polar region. New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator (right) reveal a giant surprise: a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) […]

New Horizons Phones Home After Historic Pluto Flyby, World Awaits First Close-Up Images

The New Horizons mission team celebrates New Horizons’ closest approach to Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT on July 14, 2015. Photo Credit: Elliot Severn / AmericaSpace

Throughout most of human history the worlds we share our solar system with were nothing more than points of light in the night sky, observed by astronomers for […]

In Just a Few Hours, New Horizons Will Fulfill Its Destiny With First Up-Close Exploration of Pluto

A portrait from the final approach. Pluto and Charon display striking color and brightness contrast in this composite image from July 11, showing high-resolution black-and-white LORRI images colorized with Ralph data collected from the last rotation of Pluto. Color data being returned by the spacecraft now will update these images, bringing color contrast into […]

Flight Plan for New Horizons' Historic Pluto Flyby Uploaded to Spacecraft as Surface Details Begin to Emerge

New Horizons scientists combined the latest black-and-white map of Pluto’s surface features (left) with a map of the planet’s colors (right) to produce a detailed color portrait of the planet’s northern hemisphere (center). Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

New Horizons is now just 11 days from its historic flyby exploration of the Pluto system, some three billion […]

Just Days Before Historic New Horizons Flyby, SOFIA Makes Observations of Pluto

From NASA: “Image is an artist’s conception of the Pluto occultation seen close-up, not a photo.” NASA’s SOFIA jetliner recently observed Pluto during an occultation event, prior to New Horizons’ historic flyby. Image Credit: NASA

In a year brimming with ongoing discoveries about distant, unknown worlds, including the Solar System’s planets and a comet, […]

New Horizons Is GO for Best Flight Path to Pluto, Mission Team Determines No Hazards Ahead

These images show the difference between two sets of 48 combined 10-second exposures with New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera, taken at 8:40 UTC and 10:25 UTC on June 26, 2015, from a range of 21.5 million kilometers (approximately 13 million miles) to Pluto. The known small moons, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and […]

Steady As She Goes: New Horizons Successfully Completes Small Course Correction Prior to Pluto Encounter

An artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its closest approach to Pluto and Charon on July 14. With just four weeks remaining before this much-anticipated spaceflight event, New Horizons remains healthy and on course for its rendezvous with history. Image Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

With the […]

Pluto Slowly Transitions From Astronomical Point Source to Fascinating World in Latest Images From New Horizons

Pluto is revealed as a fascinating planetary world in these latest images that were taken by New Horizons spacecraft between May 29-June 2. The images show four different “faces” of Pluto as it rotates about its axis with a period of 6.4 days. All the images have been rotated to align Pluto’s rotational axis […]

New 'Year of Pluto' Documentary Details Historic New Horizons Mission and Upcoming July Flyby

An artist’s illustration of New Horizons as it approaches the Pluto system for its close encounter at 35,000 mph on July 14, 2015. NASA has released a new documentary, Year of Pluto, as the anticipation builds toward the spacecraft’s historic encounter this summer. Image Credit: NASA

The anticipation is building among the space and […]

Pluto Comes Into Focus in Latest Images as New Horizons Approaches Ever Closer

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft took a series of images of Pluto in 8-12 May from a decreasing distance of 110 million to 75 million km away, which provide fascinating new views of the distant planet’s largely varied surface topography. Compared to images taken one month earlier, Pluto appears to get larger as the spacecraft […]