Articles about pluto

boffin

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

Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

The ongoing argument over whether Pluto is an actual planet or just a dwarf on the outskirts of the Solar System has heated up again – with a new proposal to reapply planetary status to the distant iceball. In a vote in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided to reduce the status of Pluto to that of a dwarf …
Iain Thomson, 21 Feb 2017
Pluto

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 …
Pluto

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 …

Hubble spots ice moon orbiting dwarf planet Makemake

The Hubble telescope has spotted an ice moon orbiting the dwarf planet Makemake. Makemake (pronounced mar-kee mar-kee) is 1400 kilometres in diameter and is the second brightest dwarf planet behind Pluto. It resides in the Kuiper Belt and is one of five dwarf planets to be recognised by the International Astronomical Union. It …
Darren Pauli, 27 Apr 2016
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
Pluto

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 …
Pluto

Pluto flashes its unusual pits

NASA's New Horizons mission has returned an intriguing photo of Pluto's Sputnik Planum plains, showing an "enigmatic cellular pattern" and "unusual clusters of small pits and troughs". The News Horizons image of the Sputnik Planum Cellular patterns, pits and troughs on Pluto's Sputnik Planum. Bigger version here Scientists …
Lester Haines, 19 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
New Horizons' step farther out

MYSTERIES of remote ICE WORLD PLUTO: New pics BAMBOOZLE boffins

Top space brains have confessed that a new batch of Pluto images downloaded from the New Horizons probe have left them stumped. Let's go straight to the snaps to see what it is exactly that has got the boffins so baffled. The pic below has been described as a “synthetic perspective view of Pluto, [that] shows what you would …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Sep 2015
A member of Vulture Central poses in the SPB Equation t-shirt

NEW, LOVELY, UNTOUCHED - a second EARTH waiting across the stars

QuoTW Frankly the rest of the quotes this week are a bit overshadowed by the one from NASA saying that "the nearest thing yet" to the discovery of a second known Earth-like habitable world has been made. This week also brought some embarassed philanderers, Amiga celebrated its 30th birthday and we were given a look at the inner …
Team Register, 26 Jul 2015
Pluto bumper sticker

YOW! Pluto STUNS boffins with HAZY, SHRINKY atmosphere

Pics and vid The latest New Horizons data blurt from the Kuiper Belt has yet again left astroboffins' flabbers gasted, this time because of its sensational revelations regarding the atmosphere of frosty freezeworld Pluto. Details about the dwarf planet's extraordinary surface have also been revealed by NASA, with flowing nitrogen ice …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2015
Neil deGrasse Tyson

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin

Those who feel that Pluto has always been a planet and jolly well ought to be one again have received a boost - this time from a top NASA boffin, albeit a slightly biased one. "It's very hard not to call an object with this level of complexity in its geology, and such complex seasons, a planet," said Alan Stern, New Horizons' …
Iain Thomson, 24 Jul 2015

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