A Crash Put Pluto’s Moons Into Odd Orbits: Study

by Elizabeth Howell October 10, 2013

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter A smash-up that created Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, likely sprayed debris four billion years ago that formed the genesis of the other moons scientists are spotting today, a new study concludes. The find could explain why the satellites Styx, Nix, Kereberos […]

Read the full article →

New Horizons: I Spy Pluto and Charon!

by Nancy Atkinson July 10, 2013

The New Horizons spacecraft is still about 880 million kilometers (550 million miles) from Pluto, but on July 1 and 3, 2013, the spacecraft’s LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) was able to detect not only Pluto, but its largest moon, Charon, visible and cleanly separated from Pluto itself. Charon orbits about 19,000 kilometers (12,000 miles) […]

8 comments Read the full article →

New Horizons Spacecraft ‘Stays the Course’ for Pluto System Encounter

by Ken Kremer June 21, 2013

Following an intense 18 month study to determine if NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft faced potentially destructive impact hazards during its planned 2015 flyby of the Pluto binary planet system, the mission team has decided to ‘stay the course’ – and stick with the originally planned trajectory because the danger posed by dust and debris is […]

17 comments Read the full article →

Researchers Present the Sharpest Image of Pluto Ever Taken from Earth

by Jason Major September 26, 2012

A “speckle image” reconstruction of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon (Gemini Observatory/NSF/NASA/AURA) Real planet, dwarf planet, KBO, who cares? What matters here is that astronomers have created the sharpest image of Pluto ever made with ground-based observations — and developed a new way to verify potential Earth-like exoplanets at the same time. Here’s how […]

16 comments Read the full article →

Does The Pluto System Pose A Threat To New Horizons?

by Tammy Plotner November 9, 2011

With nearly two-thirds of its journey complete, the New Horizons spacecraft is still alive and well. It recently experienced a “hibernation wakeup” which started on November 5th and will last until November 15th… and it will sleep again until a month-long call in January. However, the real “wakeup call” may be when it reaches the […]

19 comments Read the full article →