Icebergs on Pluto’s Sea of Frozen Nitrogen

  Data from NASA’s New Horizons mission continues to answer mysteries surrounding Pluto.  Since the spacecraft’s flyby last summer, scientists are analyzing large amounts of data being sent back to earth. Scientists suspect mountainous icebergs of water float across an area within Pluto’s heart-shaped region known as Sputnik Planum.  According …

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Stunning Blue Haze Discovered Surrounding Pluto

The New Horizons mission reveals a stunning blue haze encompassing Pluto.  The particles-known as tholins- responsible for the interesting coloration are formed from various sunlight-initiated chemical reactions of methane and nitrogen. This coloration on Pluto tells us much about the particle composition of the planet’s upper atmosphere.  Like on Earth, …

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Next Stop for New Horizons: Kuiper Belt Objects

Since the successful Pluto flyby on July 14th, the New Horizons spacecraft prepares for its next mission to further explore the Kuiper Belt. NASA’s primary candidate for the spacecraft’s next encounter is 2014 MU69, known as a Kuiper Belt object (KBO). Discovered in 2014 by the Hubble Space Telescope, the …

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I Spy Pluto!

With the New Horizons flyby data collection scheduled for July 14th, this is arguably the year that Plutonians finally catch a break. In recent years, the ex-planet Pluto has received a lot of attention. Now it’s time to make it the focus of your telescopes. Our beloved dwarf shines dimly …

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