An Astronomical Detective Tale and the Moon of 2007 OR10

It isn’t every day we get a new moon added to the list of solar system satellites. The combined observational power of three observatories—Kepler, Herschel and Hubble—led an astronomical detective tale to its climatic conclusion: distant Kuiper Belt Object 2007 OR10 has a tiny moon.

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A Farewell to Plutoshine

Sometimes, its not the eye candy aspect of the image, but what it represents. A recent image of Pluto’s large moon Charon courtesy of New Horizons caught our eye. Looking like something from the grainy era of the early Space Age, we see a crescent Charon, hanging against a starry background…

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Here’s the Highest Resolution Map of Pluto We’ll Get from New Horizons

Members of the New Horizons team recently conducted a live panel discussion where they talked about the spacecraft’s greatest accomplishments, which included the highest resolution map of Pluto ever created.

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The Car Alan Stern Drove to Pluto

Many of the rocket and space flight enthusiasts I know are also car buffs. If you fit into that category, here’s an opportunity you won’t want to miss: a chance to own the car that New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern drove all the way to Pluto. Well, technically, he drove his shiny red Nissan […]

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Weekly Space Hangout – November 18, 2016: Dr. Jason Wright and Tabby’s Star

Host: Fraser Cain (@fcain) Special Guest: Dr. Jason Wright is Professor in Penn State University’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Jason studies nearby stars, their ages and activity levels, and their planetary systems (exoplanets.) Jason also does a lot of outreach and research about Tabby’s Star (the “”alien magastructure”” star.) Guests: Kimberly Cartier ( KimberlyCartier.org […]

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Pluto Has a Subsurface ‘Antifreeze’ Ocean

The evidence keeps growing for a large subsurface ocean at Pluto, which also provides clues how the iconic ‘heart’ of Pluto was formed. We reported in early October that thermal models of Pluto’s interior and tectonic evidence suggest an ocean may exist beneath Pluto’s heart-shaped Sputnik Planitia. Now, new research on data from the New […]

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It Took 15 Months, but all of New Horizons’ Data Has Finally Been Downloaded

Finally, the New Horizons team has their entire “pot of gold.” 15 months after the mission’s flyby of the Pluto system, the final bits of science data from the historic July 2015 event has been safely transmitted to Earth. “The New Horizons mission has required patience for many years, but we knew the results would […]

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