Articles on Pluto

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One of the most detailed images of Pluto captured by New Horizons just before it’s closest approach to the dwarf planet. NASA/APL/SwRI

Beyond Pluto: New Horizons’ mission is not over yet

Now the flypast of Pluto is over the space probe New Horizons will begin sending the data back to Earth. It will take many months but what will it reveal about the dwarf planet?
The last photo sent to Earth by New Horizons before its flyby, and arguably the ‘textbook’ photo of the planet for the next few decades. NASA

Live blog: New Horizons flyby of Pluto

Join Tanya Hill as she live blogs the New Horizons flyby of Pluto at 9.30pm AEST tonight.
New Horizons’ look at Pluto’s Charon-facing hemisphere reveals intriguing geologic details that are of keen interest to mission scientists. This image was taken on July 11, 2015, when the spacecraft was 4 million km from Pluto. NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Pluto and its collision-course place in our solar system

The New Horizons spacecraft is only hours away from its closest approach to Pluto. It's hoped the brief encounter will help answer many questions about the oddball member of our solar system.
Artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. NASA/Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Let the people decide new place names on Mercury and Pluto

Who gets to name the craters and features on our planets was once an ad hoc affair. But now the public can have a say with just days left to vote.
Artist’s concept of the New Horizons spacecraft encountering Pluto and its largest moon, Charon (foreground) in July 2015. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

From Mercury to Pluto: the year ahead in planetary exploration

2015 is already shaping up to be a big year in astronomy and planetary exploration, with the best yet to come. Here are some highlights to keep your eye on throughout the year. Opportunity January 25 marked…

Going a long way to do a quick data collection

Like many a scientist before me, I have spent this week trying to grow a crystal. I wasn’t fussy, it didn’t have to be a single crystal – a smush of something would have done – just as long as it had a…
Hey Jupiter and Io, I’m on my way to Pluto. NASA

Space exploration promises to be spectacular in 2015

There is no doubt that 2014 was a fantastic year for planetary sciences – the high points were the successful landing of Philae on comet 67P, the discovery of methane by the Curiosity rover on Mars and…

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