Pluto TOP STORY

Modeling Pluto's Icy Heart

© NASA

Pluto and Charon

Pluto's "icy heart" is a bright, two-lobed feature on its surface that has attracted researchers ever since its discovery by the NASA New Horizons team in 2015


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Pluto's Icy Slushy Heart

© NASA

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Beneath Pluto's "heart" lies a cold, slushy ocean of water ice, according to data from NASA's New Horizons mission.

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New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target Is Reddish

New Horizons: Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target Is Reddish

The next target for NASA's New Horizons mission -- which made a historic flight past Pluto in July 2015 -- apparently bears a colorful resemblance to its famous, main destination.


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New Evidence Suggests Pluto has a Subsurface Ocean

New Evidence Suggests Pluto has a Subsurface Ocean

Ever since NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto last year, evidence has been mounting that the dwarf planet may have a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell.


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Explaining The Red Color On Charon

Explaining The Red Color On Charon

In June 2015, the cameras on NASA's approaching New Horizons spacecraft first spotted the large reddish polar region on Pluto's largest moon, Charon.


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Pluto's Methane Snowcaps

Pluto's Methane Snowcaps

The southernmost part of Pluto that NASA's New Horizons spacecraft could "see" during closest approach in July 2015 contains a range of fascinating geological features, and offers clues into what might lurk in the regions shrouded in darkness during the flyby.


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New Horizons Observes Quaoar

New Horizons Observes Quaoar

NASA's New Horizons is doing some sightseeing along the way, as the spacecraft speeds toward a New Year's Day 2019 date with an ancient object in the distant region beyond Pluto known as 2014 MU69.


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New Dwarf Planet 2015 RR245 Discovered

New Dwarf Planet 2015 RR245 Discovered

An international team of astronomers have discovered a new dwarf planet orbiting in the disk of small icy worlds beyond Neptune.


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Dwarf Planet Makemake Has A Moon

Dwarf Planet Makemake Has A Moon

A Southwest Research Institute-led team has discovered an elusive, dark moon orbiting Makemake, one of the "big four" dwarf planets populating the Kuiper Belt region at the edge of our solar system.


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Pluto May Have A Subsurface Ocean

Pluto May Have A Subsurface Ocean

When the NASA's New Horizons spacecraft buzzed by Pluto last year, it revealed tantalizing clues that the dwarf planet might have -- or had at one time -- a liquid ocean sloshing around under its icy crust.


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Secrets Revealed from Pluto's Twilight Zone

Secrets Revealed from Pluto's Twilight Zone

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft took this stunning image of Pluto only a few minutes after closest approach on July 14, 2015.


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Convection Could Produce Pluto's Polygons

Convection Could Produce Pluto's Polygons

On Pluto, icebergs floating in a sea of nitrogen ice are key to a possible explanation of the quilted appearance of the Sputnik Planum region of the dwarf planet's surface.


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2007 OR10 Is The Largest Unnamed World in Our Solar System

2007 OR10 Is The Largest Unnamed World in Our Solar System

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 system lurk in the depths beyond Neptune.


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Pluto's Interaction with the Solar Wind is Unique

Pluto's Interaction with the Solar Wind is Unique

Pluto behaves less like a comet than expected and somewhat more like a planet like Mars or Venus in the way it interacts with the solar wind, a continuous stream of charged particles from the sun.


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Hubble Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake

Hubble Discovers Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake Video in Story

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.


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Video: How is Pluto Classified as a Rocky World?

Video: How is Pluto Classified as a Rocky World?

When it comes to Pluto, classification is tricky, but it's unquestioningly a rocky body. This is Pluto in a Minute.


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Icy 'Spider' on Pluto

Icy 'Spider' on Pluto

Sprawling across Pluto's icy landscape is an unusual geological feature that resembles a giant spider.


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Possible Frozen Lake of Nitrogen Found on Pluto

Possible Frozen Lake of Nitrogen Found on Pluto

This feature appears to be a frozen, former lake of liquid nitrogen, located in a mountain range just north of Pluto's informally named Sputnik Planum.


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Haze Layers Above Pluto

Haze Layers Above Pluto

This image of haze layers above Pluto's limb was taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) on NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.


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Pluto's Snakeskin Terrain

Pluto's Snakeskin Terrain

This image is what geologists call 'bladed' terrain in a region known as Tartarus Dorsa, located in the rough highlands on the eastern side of Tombaugh Regio.


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Methane Snow on Pluto's Mountains

Methane Snow on Pluto's Mountains

One of Pluto's most identifiable features, Cthulhu stretches nearly halfway around Pluto's equator, starting from the west of the great nitrogen ice plains known as Sputnik Planum.


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The Frozen Canyons of Pluto's North Pole

The Frozen Canyons of Pluto's North Pole

This ethereal scene captured by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft tells yet another story of Pluto's diversity of geological and compositional featuresthis time in an enhanced color image of the north polar area.


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Evidence of An Ancient Ocean on Charon?

Evidence of An Ancient Ocean on Charon?

Pluto's largest moon may have gotten too big for its own skin.


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Mapping Pluto's Geology

Mapping Pluto's Geology

How to make sense of Pluto's surprising geological complexity? To help understand the diversity of terrain and to piece together how Pluto's surface has formed and evolved over time, mission scientists construct geological maps like the one shown above.


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Floating Hills on Pluto's Sputnik Planum

Floating Hills on Pluto's Sputnik Planum

The nitrogen ice glaciers on Pluto appear to carry an intriguing cargo: numerous, isolated hills that may be fragments of water ice from Pluto's surrounding uplands.


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Pluto's Blue Atmosphere in the Infrared

Pluto's Blue Atmosphere in the Infrared

This image from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is the first look at Pluto's atmosphere in infrared wavelengths, and the first image of the atmosphere made with data from the New Horizons Ralph/Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) instrument.


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Pluto's Widespread Water Ice

Pluto's Widespread Water Ice

Data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft point to more prevalent water ice on Pluto's surface than previously thought.



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