Archive for the ‘Pluto’ Category

Pluto’s icy exterior may conceal an ocean

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

PLUTO could hide a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell. Indeed, other bodies on the solar system’s frigid fringe could also harbour subsurface oceans, and these could provide the conditions to sustain life.


Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Freezing, distant Pluto seems an odd place to look for oceanfront real estate, but if a new computer model is correct, the dwarf planet harbors a sizeable pool of liquids beneath its thick icy shell.

Eris Gets Dwarfed (Is Pluto Bigger?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Something happened yesterday that could upend the bragging rights among the kingpins of trans-Neptunian space. If the early results hold up, this time it’s the dwarf planet Eris’s turn to be demoted, and Pluto might have just regained its status as the largest object in the Kuiper Belt.

Reaching the Mid-Mission Milestone on the Way to Pluto!

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

On Sunday, Oct. 17, at 3:24 Universal Time, we passed the halfway mark in the number of days from launch to Pluto encounter – the last of our halfway milestones en route to Pluto! From here, we have fewer days in front of us than behind us.

The last oasis

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Pluto and its moon Charon forever keep one face toward each other, like embracing lovers – which may have warmed Pluto just enough for it to develop a life-friendly ocean.

Pluto in fact and fiction

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Pluto and its discoverer play key roles in “Percival’s Planet,” a novel that weaves a fictional tale around historical and scientific facts from 80 years ago.


Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Is Pluto the ninth planet? Is it a non-planet? Does the issue really matter at all? The answers to the first two questions are still debatable, 80 years after Pluto was discovered and three years after Pluto was demoted at a global meeting of astronomers.


Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Although Pluto was kicked out of the planetary club by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) four years ago, the passionate “Pluto debate” rumbles on.

Halfway to Pluto

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Those of you with a soft spot for Pluto probably know that February was a big month for this far-flung world.

Boulder scientist sticks up for Pluto on PBS’ ‘The Pluto Files’

Monday, March 1st, 2010

And the fight over Pluto’s planetary classification begins, with Boulder’s Alan Stern — one of the country’s foremost Pluto experts — on one side and Neil deGrasse Tyson, well-known author of “The Pluto Files,” on the other.


Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Astronomers had their doubts about Pluto from the very start. At first, even its discoverer wasn’t sure where the little world fit in the planetary parade. But 80 years after it was found, Pluto has demonstrated that it’s a survivor.

Hubble captures Pluto’s seasonal changes

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

The most detailed images of Pluto have been captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, revealing a world undergoing seasonal surface colour and brightness changes.


Friday, February 5th, 2010

Pluto, long thought of as a dormant chunk of ice and rock, has recently undergone some of the most dramatic surface changes of any body in the solar system. And Marc Buie has the images to prove it.

Pluto’s White, Dark-Orange and Charcoal-Black Terrain Captured by NASA’s Hubble

Friday, February 5th, 2010

NASA has released the most detailed and dramatic images ever taken of the distant dwarf planet Pluto. The images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope show an icy, mottled, dark molasses-colored world undergoing seasonal surface color and brightness changes.


Monday, December 7th, 2009

Clouds in Pluto’s atmosphere may be composed of tiny frozen spherules of nitrogen or carbon monoxide, rather than snowflake-like clumps of tiny particles as previous research had suggested, new analyses suggest.

A Pluto Pilgimage

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

The first thing you notice about the Lowell Observatory, the place where Pluto was discovered, is that the little guy gets top billing.

Pluto on the comeback trail

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Three billion miles from Earth, a brutally cold sphere of rock and ice, with a diameter roughly twice the length of Arizona, is continuing its nearly 80-year grasp on the public’s fascination.

Pluto’s planetary plea not in scientists’ scope

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

When they convene Monday in Rio de Janeiro, the grand pooh-bahs of astronomy appear unlikely to revisit their decision from three years ago to demote Pluto, the heavenly body formerly known as the solar system’s ninth planet.

Pluto’s Atmosphere Warmer Than Thought

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Pluto, the runt of the solar system, is still a mystery to astronomers in many ways. But thanks to a new study of the dwarf planet’s atmosphere, this misunderstood place is a little more known to us now.

The lower atmosphere of Pluto revealed

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope, astronomers have gained valuable new insights about the atmosphere of the dwarf planet Pluto. The scientists found unexpectedly large amounts of methane in the atmosphere, and also discovered that the atmosphere is hotter than the surface by about 40 degrees, although it still only reaches a frigid minus 180 degrees Celsius.