Pluto News, The Kuipers and Beyond
June 16, 2016
Extreme trans-Neptunian objects lead the way to Planet Nine
Madrid, Spain (SPX) Jun 15, 2016
In the race towards the discovery of a ninth planet in our solar system, scientists from around the world strive to calculate its orbit using the tracks left by the small bodies that move well beyond Neptune. Now, astronomers from Spain and University of Cambridge have confirmed, with new calculations, that the orbits of the six extreme trans-Neptunian objects that served as a reference to announce the existence of Planet Nine are not as stable as it was thought. At the beginning of this year, the ... read more

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Pluto's Heart: Like a Cosmic 'Lava Lamp'
Like a cosmic lava lamp, a large section of Pluto's icy surface is being constantly renewed by a process called convection that replaces older surface ices with fresher material. Combining com ... more
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Theft behind Planet 9 in our solar system
Through a computer-simulated study, astronomers at Lund University in Sweden show that it is highly likely that the so-called Planet 9 is an exoplanet. This would make it the first exoplanet to be d ... more
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Study suggests Planet 9 is stolen exoplanet
New research suggests the mysterious and controversial "Planet 9" isn't an original member of our solar system. According to a new computer simulation developed by astronomers at Lund University in Sweden, the ninth planet is an exoplanet - stolen by the sun from its original host star. ... more
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New Horizons' Best Close-Up of Pluto's Surface
This is the most detailed view of Pluto's terrain you'll see for a very long time. This mosaic strip - extending across the hemisphere that faced the New Horizons spacecraft as it flew past Pluto on ... more
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Close encounters of a tidal kind could lead to cracks on icy moons
A new model developed by University of Rochester researchers could offer a new explanation as to how cracks on icy moons, such as Pluto's Charon, formed. Until now, it was thought that the cracks we ... more
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First Stellar Occultations Shed Additional Light on Pluto's Atmosphere
Scientists on NASA's New Horizons team say the spacecraft succeeded in observing the first occultations of Pluto's atmosphere by ultraviolet stars, an important goal of the mission's Pluto encounter ... more
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World May Now 'Face a New Kind of a Space Race'
NASA's New Horizon team has officially submitted an extended-mission proposal for its spacecraft, after it had finished its primary mission on Pluto. In an interview with Radio Sputnik, David Mimoun ... more
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New Horizons' First Science on a Post-Pluto Object
Warming up for a possible extended mission as it speeds through deep space, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has now twice observed 1994 JR1, a 90-mile (145-kilometer) wide Kuiper Belt object (KBO) or ... more
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Imaging the Encounter of a Lifetime
Jorge Nunez, a planetary scientist and engineer from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), is the deputy systems engineer of the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) ins ... more
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Hints of wandering planets in distant cometary belt
For the first time, astronomers have captured high-resolution imagery of the cometary belt surrounding HR 8799, the only star system with multiple planets that have been directly photographed. ... more
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Dwarf Planet Haumea's Lunar System Smaller than Anticipated
Haumea, a dwarf planet on the edge of our solar system, doesn't have the same kind of moons as its well-known cousin Pluto according to a new study. This is despite original evidence that suggested ... more
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Andre Brahic, discoverer of Neptune's rings, dies aged 73
French astrophysicist Andre Brahic, one of the discoverers of Neptune's rings, died in Paris Sunday at the age of 73, his publisher Odile Jacob said. ... more
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Largest unnamed world in the solar system 2007 OR10
Dwarf planets tend to be a mysterious bunch. With the exception of Ceres, which resides in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, all members of this class of minor planets in our solar sy ... more
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Icy Hydra's highly reflective surface
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent home the first compositional data about Pluto's four small satellites. The new data show the surface of Hydra, Pluto's outermost small moon, is dominated by n ... more
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Pluto's icy moon Hydra
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent home the first compositional data about Pluto's four small satellites. The new data show the surface of Hydra, Pluto's outermost small moon, is dominated by n ... more
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Planet Nine: A world that shouldn't exist
Earlier this year scientists presented evidence for Planet Nine, a Neptune-mass planet in an elliptical orbit 10 times farther from our Sun than Pluto. Since then theorists have puzzled over how thi ... more
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Pluto: A Global Perspective
NASA's New Horizons mission science team has produced this updated panchromatic (black-and-white) global map of Pluto. The map includes all resolved images of Pluto's surface acquired between ... more
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New Elevation Map of Pluto's Sunken 'Heart'
This newest shaded relief view of the region surrounding the left side of Pluto's heart-shaped feature - informally named Sputnik Planum - shows that the vast expanse of the icy surface is on averag ... more
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Pluto's Interaction with the Solar Wind is Unique, Study Finds
Pluto has some characteristics less like that of a comet and more like much larger planets, according to the first analysis of Pluto's unique interaction with the solar wind, scientists say. U ... more
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Hubble discovers moon orbiting the dwarf planet Makemake
Peering to the outskirts of our solar system, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a small, dark moon orbiting Makemake, the second brightest icy dwarf planet - after Pluto - in the Kuiper Belt ... more
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Pluto's 'Halo' Craters
Within Pluto's informally named Vega Terra region is a field of eye-catching craters that looks like a cluster of bright halos scattered across a dark landscape. The region is far west of the ... more
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Pluto's haze varies in brightness
Scientists on NASA's New Horizons mission team are learning more about the structure and behavior of Pluto's complex atmosphere by discovering new attributes of its extensive haze layers. The ... more
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Icy 'Spider' on Pluto
Sprawling across Pluto's icy landscape is an unusual geological feature that resembles a giant spider. "Oh, what a tangled web Pluto's geology weaves," said Oliver White, a member of the New Horizon ... more
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Planet X takes shape
Astrophysicists at the University of Bern have modelled the evolution of the putative planet in the outer solar system. They estimate that the object has a present-day radius equal to 3.7 Earth radi ... more
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