Dwarf Planet Makemake Divulges A Dark Moon

Far, far away beyond the planet Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt, a vast reservoir of frozen orbs left over from the construction phase of the solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Four of them are dwarf planets, the most famous of which is Pluto with its system of five moons. Another is Makemake (MAH-kee MAH-kee),…
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Ice Makes Pluto’s Moon Charon Split A Gut

For the same reason a glass bottle filled with water shatters when left to freeze, ice may have split Pluto’s moon Charon wide open. Ice expands when it freezes. This simple fact of physics has wide-ranging consequences from busting your water pipes during a cold spell to spalling rocks and shifting home foundations during freeze-thaw cycles. Images…
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Pluto Churns Like A Lava Lamp

A recently released high-resolution swath of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft shows all kinds of wonderful things in Sputnik Planum, the informal name given to the icy plains dominating the left side of Pluto’s big “heart”. The strip reveals features less than half a city block in size Sputnik Planum is at a lower elevation…
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Your Favorite Planet May Soon Turn Up In The Mail

The U.S. Postal Service recently sneak-previewed a new series of stamps this year highlighting NASA’s Planetary Science program, including a do-over of a famous Pluto stamp commemorating the New Horizons’ historic 2015 flyby and more. Watch for eight new colorful Forever stamps of NASA images of solar system planets, a Global Forever stamp dedicated to Earth’s…
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Put A Little Pluto In Your Heart This Christmas

Thanks NASA for the extra helping of figgy pudding this Christmas. The agency recently released the latest color closeups taken by the New Horizons mission during the spacecraft’s closest approach to the dwarf planet last July 14th. With resolutions of about 250-280 feet (77-85 meters) per pixel, we can see features smaller than half a city block on Pluto’s surface. The…
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