Pluto News, The Kuipers and Beyond
May 24, 2017
Hubble spots moon around third largest dwarf planet
Greenbelt MD (SPX) May 19, 2017
The combined power of three space observatories, including NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, has helped astronomers uncover a moon orbiting the third largest dwarf planet, catalogued as 2007 OR10. The pair resides in the frigid outskirts of our solar system called the Kuiper Belt, a realm of icy debris left over from our solar system's formation 4.6 billion years ago. With this discovery, most of the known dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt larger than 600 miles across have companions. These bodies pro ... read more

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NASA asks science community for Europa Lander Instruments ideas
NASA is asking scientists to consider what would be the best instruments to include on a mission to land on Jupiter's icy moon, Europa. NASA Wednesday informed the science community to prepare ... more
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Waves of lava seen in Io's largest volcanic crater
Taking advantage of a rare orbital alignment between two of Jupiter's moons, Io and Europa, researchers have obtained an exceptionally detailed map of the largest lava lake on Io, the most volcanica ... more
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Not So Great Anymore: Jupiter's Red Spot Shrinks to Smallest Size Ever
Any third-grader can tell you about Jupiter's Great Red Spot (GRS), a titanic cyclone that has raged for centuries in Jupiter's atmosphere. It sticks out like a blemish on photos of the gas giant, a ... more
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The PI's Perspective: No Sleeping Back on Earth!
Three weeks ago we put our New Horizons spacecraft into hibernation mode, the first time we'd done that since late 2014, before the Pluto flyby. By coincidence, that same day - April 7-was also the ... more
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ALMA investigates 'DeeDee,' a distant, dim member of our solar system
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 20 ... more
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Nap Time for New Horizons
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has eased into a long summer's nap, entering a hibernation phase on April 7 that will last until early September. Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University A ... more
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Cold' Great Spot discovered on Jupiter
A second Great Spot has been discovered on Jupiter by astronomers, rivaling the scale of the planet's famous Great Red Spot and created by the powerful energies exerted by the great planet's polar a ... more
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Hubble spots auroras on Uranus
This is a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble - one for the ring and one for the auroras. Ever since Voyager 2 beamed home spectacular images of the ... 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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