Pluto News, The Kuipers and Beyond
April 15, 2017
ALMA investigates 'DeeDee,' a distant, dim member of our solar system
Charlottesville VA (SPX) Apr 13, 2017
Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have revealed extraordinary details about a recently discovered far-flung member of our solar system, the planetary body 2014 UZ224, more informally known as DeeDee. At about three times the current distance of Pluto from the Sun, DeeDee is the second most distant known trans-Neptunian object (TNO) with a confirmed orbit, surpassed only by the dwarf planet Eris. Astronomers estimate that there are tens-of-thousands of these ... read more

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When Jovian Light and Dark Collide
This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft, highlights a feature on Jupiter where multiple atmospheric conditions appear to collide. This publicly selected target is cal ... more
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Neptune's journey during early planet formation was 'smooth and calm'
Dr Wes Fraser from Queen's led an international research project 'Colours of the Outer Solar Systems Origins Survey' Col-OSSOS, which uses data collected from the Frederick C. Gillett Gemini North T ... more
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Hubble takes close-up portrait of Jupiter
During April 2017 Jupiter is in opposition: it is at its closest to Earth and the hemisphere facing Earth is fully illuminated by the Sun. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope used this special confi ... more
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Neptune's movement from the inner to the outer solar system was smooth and calm
New research suggests Neptune's transition from the inner to the outer solar system was relatively slow and steady. The clues to the nature of Neptune's ancient move were discovered in the Kuiper belt, a massive ring of space debris - mostly icy fragments - lying beyond Neptune's orbit. ... more
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Four unknown objects being investigated in Planet X
Astronomers from The Australian National University (ANU) are investigating four unknown objects that could be candidates for a new planet in our solar system, following the launch of their planetar ... more
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New Horizons Halfway from Pluto to Next Flyby Target
How time and our spacecraft fly - especially when you're making history at 32,000 miles (51,500 kilometers) per hour. Continuing on its path through the outer regions of the solar system, NASA's New ... more
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Juno Spacecraft Set for Fifth Jupiter Flyby
NASA's Juno spacecraft will make its fifth flyby over Jupiter's mysterious cloud tops on Monday, March 27, at 1:52 a.m. PDT (4:52 a.m. EDT, 8:52 UTC). At the time of closest approach (called p ... more
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ANU leads public search for Planet X
The Australian National University (ANU) is launching a search for a new major planet within our solar system, inviting anyone around the world with access to the Internet to help make the historic ... more
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Scientists make the case to restore Pluto's planet status
Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: Regardless of what one prestigious scientific organization says to the contrary, Pluto is a planet. So, he says, is Eur ... more
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ESA's Jupiter mission moves off the drawing board
Demanding electric, magnetic and power requirements, harsh radiation, and strict planetary protection rules are some of the critical issues that had to be tackled in order to move ESA's Jupiter Icy ... more
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NASA Mission Named 'Europa Clipper'
NASA's upcoming mission to investigate the habitability of Jupiter's icy moon Europa now has a formal name: Europa Clipper. The moniker harkens back to the clipper ships that sailed across the ... more
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Juno Captures Jupiter Cloudscape in High Resolution
This close-up view of Jupiter captures the turbulent region just west of the Great Red Spot in the South Equatorial Belt, with resolution better than any previous pictures from Earth or other spacec ... more
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Juno to remain in current orbit at Jupiter
NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since July 4, 2016, will remain in its current 53-day orbit for the remainder of the mission. This will allow Juno to acc ... more
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Europa Flyby Mission Moves into Design Phase
A mission to examine the habitability of Jupiter's ocean-bearing moon Europa is taking one step closer to the launchpad, with the recent completion of a major NASA review. On Feb. 15, NASA's E ... more
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NASA receives science report on Europa lander concept
A report on the potential science value of a lander on the surface of Jupiter's icy moon Europa has been delivered to NASA, and the agency is now engaging the broader science community to open a dis ... more
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New Horizons Refines Course for Next Flyby
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft completed a short propulsive maneuver Wednesday to refine its track toward a New Year's Day 2019 flyby past 2014 MU69, a Kuiper Belt object (KBO) some 4 billion miles ... more
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It's Never 'Groundhog Day' at Jupiter
NASA's Juno spacecraft will make its fourth flyby over Jupiter's mysterious cloud tops on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 4:57 a.m. PST (7:57 a.m. EST, 12:57 UTC). At the time of closest approach (called ... more
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Public to Choose Jupiter Picture Sites for NASA Juno
Where should NASA's Juno spacecraft aim its camera during its next close pass of Jupiter on Feb. 2? You can now play a part in the decision. For the first time, members of the public can vote to par ... more
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Experiment resolves mystery about wind flows on Jupiter
One mystery has been whether the jets exist only in the planet's upper atmosphere - much like the Earth's own jet streams - or whether they plunge into Jupiter's gaseous interior. If the latter is t ... more
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Pluto Global Color Map
This new, detailed global mosaic color map of Pluto is based on a series of three color filter images obtained by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera aboard New Horizons during the NASA sp ... more
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Lowell Observatory to renovate Pluto discovery telescope
The instrument at Lowell Observatory used by Clyde Tombaugh to discover Pluto will soon undergo renovation. The year-long project, set to begin on January 12, will include restoration of both the hi ... more
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Flying observatory makes observations of Jupiter previously only possible from space
For the first time since the twin Voyager spacecraft missions in 1979, scientists have produced far-infrared maps of Jupiter using NASA's Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA. The ... more
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How a moon slows the decay of Pluto's atmosphere
Pluto's relationship with its moon Charon is one of the more unusual interactions in the solar system due to Charon's size and proximity. It's more than half of Pluto's diameter and orbits only 12,0 ... more
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York U research identifies icy ridges on Pluto
Using a model similar to what meteorologists use to forecast weather on Earth and a computer simulation of the physics of evaporating ices, a new study published in the journal, Nature by York Unive ... more
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