Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Charon

  • Sci-Fi names given to features on Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldAugust 7th, 2015

    Names of people and places from popular science fiction franchises are informally being given to features on Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, by the New Horizons team. Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Robotech, H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, and mythology are all represented in monikers chosen for craters on Charon.

  • New Horizons’ first datasets reveal stunning images – and geologically active worlds

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 17th, 2015

    The “rain of data” promised by New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern began streaming in on Wednesday, July 15, the day after the spacecraft’s closest approach to the dwarf planet Pluto. In just a few days time, it has tantalized the world with stunning images of Pluto and its moon Charon, showing features that have repeatedly baffled […]

  • New Horizons conducts historic Pluto flyby

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 15th, 2015

    At 7:49 a.m. EDT (12:49 GMT), July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to the Pluto system, flying within 7,750 miles (12,472 km) of Pluto’s surface. At the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland, more than a thousand people, including APL employees, mission team members, guests, and media […]

  • Pluto found bigger than previously thought as excitement builds over flyby

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 14th, 2015

    On the eve of New Horizons’ historic Pluto flyby, the decades-long question of Pluto’s size has finally been answered: Pluto is larger than previously thought – it has a diameter of 1,478 miles (2,370 km). The finding comes from images taken by the spacecraft’s Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI). It means Pluto is the largest known […]

  • New Horizons reveals striking features on Charon

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 13th, 2015

    Charon has got its turn in New Horizons’ spotlight on July 11, with its latest images showing striking features, revealing the large moon to be a geologically active world. Its surface is pockmarked with chasms and craters, evidence that the small world has undergone faulting and surface disruption, according to Geology and Geophysics Investigation team (GGI) […]

  • New Horizons’ final approach images show surface geology on Pluto

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 12th, 2015

    With just days left until its historic Pluto flyby, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is taking and sending back images that reveal Pluto to be a geologically complex world. Fuzzy, blurry images are being replaced by sharper ones showing distinct surface features – to the delight of mission scientists.

  • Pluto shows two different faces as New Horizons closes in

    Laurel KornfeldJuly 3rd, 2015

    As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft rapidly closes in on the Pluto system on the outer fringes of the Solar System, its instruments are starting to reveal stunning details on the surfaces of both Pluto and its largest moon – Charon. These tantalizing new images are now raising new mysteries about these enigmatic worlds. These images came in at […]

  • New Horizons images show surface features on Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldJune 25th, 2015

    As NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft closes in on the Pluto system, its instruments have begun returning images that show surprisingly varied surfaces on both Pluto and one of its moons – Charon. The latest series of images released by the mission team were taken with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI ) between May 29 and June […]

  • With Pluto’s moons – chaos reigns

    Laurel KornfeldJune 5th, 2015

    Pluto's small moons orbit their parent world chaotically, with Nix and Hydra wobbling and tumbling, according to a new study by Dr. Marc Showalter, senior research scientist at California's SETI Institute, and Dr. Douglas Hamilton, an astronomy professor at the University of Maryland in College Park.

  • New Horizons Pluto images show surface features, possible polar caps

    Laurel KornfeldMay 1st, 2015

    The latest images taken by NASA’s New Horizons‘ Long Range Reconnaissance Orbiter (LORRI) instrument show intriguing dark and light patches on the surface of Pluto, including a bright region that could be a polar cap. These latest round of pictures come at a time when the spacecraft is fast approaching its flyby of the far-flung and […]

  • New Horizons takes first color images of Pluto and Charon

    Laurel KornfeldApril 25th, 2015

    Using the Ralph color imager, one of its seven sophisticated instruments, New Horizons took its first color images of Pluto and Charon on April 9. The images were released on April 14, exactly three months before the spacecraft’s planned flyby of the Pluto system and its tiny moons. These tantalizing images are just the teaser […]

  • New Horizons celebrates Clyde Tombaugh’s birthday with new Pluto images

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 7th, 2015

    NASA’s New Horizons team celebrated what would have been dwarf planet Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh’s 109th birthday by releasing new photos of Pluto and Charon orbiting each other, taken by the spacecraft for optical navigation purposes on Feb. 4. These images also serve to mark the spacecraft’s approach to and flyby of the tiny world […]