Charon

Watch Pluto and Charon Engage in Their Orbital Dance

by Jason Major August 7, 2014

Now here’s something I guarantee you’ve never seen before: a video of the dwarf planet Pluto and its largest moon Charon showing the two distinctly separate worlds actually in motion around each other! Captured by the steadily-approaching New Horizons spacecraft from July 19–24, the 12 images that comprise this animation were acquired with the Long Range […]

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Where Exactly Is Pluto? Pinpoint Precision Needed For New Horizons Mission

by Elizabeth Howell August 6, 2014

When you have a spacecraft that takes the better part of a decade to get to its destination, it’s really, really important to make sure you have an accurate fix on where it’s supposed to be. That’s true of the Rosetta spacecraft (which reached its comet today) and also for New Horizons, which will make […]

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New Horizons Wakes Up for the Summer

by Jason Major June 16, 2014

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. The next time New Horizons awakens from hibernation in December, it will be beginning […]

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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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