New Horizons Wakes Up for the Summer

by Jason Major June 16, 2014

Want to stay on top of all the space news? Follow @universetoday on Twitter While many kids in the U.S. are starting their school summer vacations, New Horizons is about to get back to work! Speeding along on its way to Pluto the spacecraft has just woken up from hibernation, a nap it began five months (and 100 million miles) ago. […]

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An Ocean On Pluto’s Moon? Hopeful Scientists Will Keep An Eye Out For Cracks

by Elizabeth Howell June 13, 2014

It’s a lot of speculation right now, but the buzz in a new NASA study is Pluto’s largest moon (Charon) could have a cracked surface. If the New Horizons mission catches these cracks when it whizzes by in 2015, this could hint at an ocean underneath the lunar surface — just like what we talk […]

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

by Elizabeth Howell October 10, 2013

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 and Hydra have orbital periods that are, respectively, just about exactly 3, 4, 5 […]

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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) […]

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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 […]

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