Articles about new horizons

NASA New Horizons artist's impression

NASA says New Horizons' next stop might have a moon

NASA's hypothesised that MU69, the Kuiper Belt object that is the New Horizons probe's next destination, has a moon. To figure out what awaits New Horizons at MU69 we've peered at it with telescopes, a process that yielded a hypothesis that the object is one rock that looks a bit like a duck, or might even be two rocks …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Dec 2017
New Horizons mission control

New Horizons probe awakens to receive software upgrade

The New Horizons probe has successfully ended its five-month hibernation and resumed chats with its mission controllers. The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab received the “I'm okay” message via NASA's Deep Space Network station in Madrid. Once the probe's back in “Active” state, it's got a busy schedule before a December 9 …
NASA New Horizons artist's impression

Close Encounters of the Kuiper Belt kind: New Horizons to come within just 3,500km of MU69

If we're not all too hungover when New Year's Day 2019 rolls around, NASA will hopefully have a fun set of photos to show us because on that day New Horizons probe has been told to go within just 3,500km of Kuiper Belt Object MU69. Having nominated MU69 as next on New Horizons' itinerary in 2015, it's already pointed the probe …
NASA artist’s concept of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker

Space Duck 2.0 is New Horizons' next destination

The New Horizons probe's next destination, Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, looks a bit like a duck. That's NASA's best guess after the amazing effort to fly a plane through the space rock's shadow in early July 2017, plus observations from earthly telescopes in Argentina. After examining the results of those observations, NASA …
SOFIA's planned mission to look at Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

NASA has flown a plane through shadow of Kuiper Belt object 6.6bn kilometres from Earth. The object is 2014 MU69, a maybe-40km-across more than 1.5bn km past Pluto that is the New Horizons mission's next port of call after its encounter with Pluto. Humanity has precisely zero close-up experience of such objects and we've only …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jul 2017

How's that for a remote login? NASA puts New Horizons probe to sleep 3.5 billion miles away

Pic NASA's New Horizons spacecraft – right now 3.5 billion miles (5.6 billion kilometres) from Earth – has been powered down by boffins as it heads out to the icy wastes of the Kuiper Belt. The probe, which was launched in 2006 and gave humanity its first close-up images of Pluto in July 2015, was sent shutdown commands on Friday …
Iain Thomson, 11 Apr 2017

Pluto has massive underground oceans, say astro-boffins

Pluto may contain a colossal underground ocean, say New Horizons mission scientists. Two new Letters in Nature, Reorientation of Sputnik Planitia implies a subsurface ocean on Pluto and Reorientation and faulting of Pluto due to volatile loading within Sputnik Planitia considers the icy heart-shaped “lava lamp” found on the …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
Pluto, visible and X-ray

Pluto's emitting X-rays, and NASA doesn't quite know how

The Chandra space telescope has spotted X-rays emanating from Pluto. What? That's “cold, dead, former planet Pluto with no magnetic field”, to most of us: orbiting between 4.4 billion km and 7.4 billion km from the sun out in the Kuiper belt, with no way to generate heat. That Pluto. Since we don't suppose the former-planet …

Plutonian 'lava lamp' seas give dwarf planet a regular face lift

Pics and video NASA has released the most detailed pictures we're likely to get from the New Horizons probe flying past Pluto, and they show the planet displaying habits most commonly associated with 60s décor. Earlier pictures from the probe show a smooth and shiny area on Pluto's surface dubbed Sputnik Planum, consisting of polygon cells …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jun 2016
Hydra's spectrograph

Icy Hydra outshines its dirty neighbour Charon

NASA's latest data release from its New Horizons probe has confirmed the reason that Pluto's moon Hydra is covered by ice. The agency says its analysis of the highly-reflective Hydra shows “the unmistakable signature of crystalline water ice: a broad absorption from 1.50 to 1.60 microns and a narrower water-ice spectral …
The methane mountains of Pluto's Cthulhu Regio Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Mountains of madness found on Pluto's Cthulhu Regio

New images from NASA's New Horizons Pluto probe suggest the used-to-be-a-planet possesses methane-frost-covered mountains. The image at the top of this story (or here for readers on mobile devices) shows Pluto (left) and in the insert depicts what NASA describes as “a mountain range located in southeast Cthulhu that’s 260 …
Pluto and Charon. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

New NASA theory: Moon radiation drops so HULK RIP MOON LIKE SHIRT

NASA is now pretty confident its theory that Pluto's moon Charon split apart because of an internal ocean is right. Last October the space agency theorised that deep canyons on Charon were the result of cryovolcanism, or cold volcanic activity to you and I. Now the agency has explained that theory in comic book terms, as …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Feb 2016

Ice volcanoes just part of Plutonic pandemonium

Video Pluto just keeps getting stranger: the latest speculation to arise from analysis of data gathered by New Horizons is that it might have ice volcanoes. That's one possible explanation for put forward, in a press briefing at NASA's Ames Research Center in California, for the icy peaks that stunned the mission team back in July …
New Horizons path

New Horizons makes last burn for Kuiper Belt target

New Horizons has made its final course correction, and is on the way to the Kuiper Belt. The 20-minute hydrazine burn announced by NASA has put the probe on course for a rendezvous with 2014 MU69. The four burns – on October 22, 25, 28 and November 4 – are the most distant trajectory corrections ever executed. After a …
New Horizons

New Horizons: Pluto? Been there, done that – now for something 6.4 billion km away

The Pluto-gawping New Horizons space probe is back in action and heading for a new target far out on the edges of the Solar System. New Horizons path To infinity and beyond! On Thursday the spacecraft's hydrazine-fueled thrusters were fired for 16 minutes at 1050 PT (1850 UTC) in the first of four maneuvers that will aim …
Iain Thomson, 23 Oct 2015
Pluto in blue and red

NASA boffins on Pluto: We see skies of BLUE and... RED water ice

Pluto's skies are a lovely blue, NASA says, after releasing new data and colour-corrected images from the New Horizons mission's swing-past the former planet. The probe detected what NASA's calling a “high altitude haze” of particles that come about as a result of “sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of nitrogen and methane …
Pluto and Charon. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Pluto's moon SPLIT OPEN by ancient FROZEN OCEAN

Pics Yet more pictures of Pluto and its moon have been sent back to Earth from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft – this time indicating a colossal geological upset in Charon's past. The latest spectacular images of the satellite orbiting the remote, icy dwarf planet reveal what NASA boffins have described as "a belt of fractures and …
Team Register, 3 Oct 2015
New Horizons shot of crescent pluto scaled

SPOOKY new Pluto snaps will make the HAIR RISE on the back of your neck

Pics NASA boffins have released a new batch of pictures beamed back from the New Horizons probe, barrelling into the emptiness of the far outer solar system. The pics were actually taken some time ago as the probecraft zoomed past icy dwarfworld Pluto. But the linkup between Earth and New Horizons isn't exactly the fattest of …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Sep 2015

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