Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: Pluto

  • IAU approves names for features on Charon

    Laurel KornfeldApril 18th, 2018

    The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has accepted a list of names for features on Pluto's largest moon, Charon, submitted by NASA's New Horizons mission team.

  • New Horizons breaks Voyager 1’s record for most distant images from Earth

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 10th, 2018

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft broke yet another record by capturing the most distant images from Earth, photographing an open star cluster along with several dwarf planets, Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs) and centaurs with its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI).

  • Tidal heating could sustain dwarf planets’ subsurface oceans

    Laurel KornfeldDecember 17th, 2017

    Icy dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt could maintain subsurface liquid oceans if they have moons that generate tidal heating, thereby preventing the oceans from freezing, according to a new study published in the journal Icarus.

  • Atmospheric haze makes Pluto colder than previously thought

    Laurel KornfeldNovember 17th, 2017

    When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto in July 2015, its instruments found the dwarf planet’s atmospheric temperature to be significantly colder than scientists had expected.

  • Pluto’s bladed terrain is product of its complex geological history

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 30th, 2017

    A new study of Pluto's bizarre bladed terrain, which stretches as high as skyscrapers on Earth, has identified them as being composed largely of methane ice, formed through erosion caused by long-term changes in the dwarf planet's climate.

  • Pluto lander concept unveiled by Global Aerospace Corporation

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 27th, 2017

    Just two years after New Horizons' historic Pluto flyby, the Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC), a company that conducts aerospace research and development, is proposing a return mission featuring a Pluto lander.

  • New Horizons sets flight plan for 2nd target; IAU accepts Pluto system names

    Laurel KornfeldSeptember 9th, 2017

    NASA's New Horizons mission has filed a flight plan for its January 1, 2019, flyby of Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 2014 MU69, which will bring the spacecraft three times closer to its second target than it came to Pluto during the upcoming encounter.

  • NASA releases New Horizons flyover video

    NASAJuly 15th, 2017

    Using actual New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, mission scientists have created flyover movies that offer spectacular new perspectives of the many unusual features that were discovered and which have reshaped our views of the Pluto system – from a vantage point even closer than the spacecraft itself.

  • Planetary scientists explore possible Kuiper Belt follow-up mission

    Laurel KornfeldMay 8th, 2017

    Less than two years after the New Horizons spacecraft's historic Pluto flyby, a group of planetary scientists is taking the first steps toward a second mission to the Kuiper Belt.

  • New Horizons reaches halfway mark between Pluto and second target

    Laurel KornfeldApril 6th, 2017

    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reached the halfway point between Pluto and its second flyby target, KBO 2014 MU69, at midnight UTC on Monday, April 3 (8:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 2) at a distance of 486.19 million miles (782.45 million kilometers) from Pluto and the same distance to MU69.

  • Seven co-investigators join New Horizons team

    Laurel KornfeldMarch 17th, 2017

    In anticipation of New Horizons' flyby of its second target – Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 – on January 1, 2019, NASA and Principal Investigator Alan Stern have added seven new co-investigators to the mission team.

  • Name themes for Pluto system features approved by IAU

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 26th, 2017

    A set of naming themes for features on Pluto and its five moons, informally used by the New Horizons mission, has been approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which has overseen the naming of celestial objects and their surface features since 1919.

  • New Horizons posters, studies, to be presented at Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 14th, 2017

    Seven poster sessions and seven studies based on data returned by the New Horizons mission will be presented at the 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, which will be held in The Woodlands, Texas, on March 20–24 of this year (2017).

  • Six New Horizons scientists propose geophysical planet definition

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 8th, 2017

    Six scientists who work on NASA's New Horizons mission propose a geophysical planet definition in an abstract from a presentation to be made at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

  • Pluto’s red regions may have been created by Charon-forming impact

    Laurel KornfeldFebruary 3rd, 2017

    The dark red regions around Pluto's equator may have their origins in the giant impact that formed its moon Charon four billion years ago, according to a team of Japanese researchers.