New Horizons Has Caught Its First Color Pic of Pluto

In a historic first – just one of many that will be made over the next several months, to be sure! – the New Horizons spacecraft captured its first color image of Pluto and its partner/satellite Charon on April 9 from a distance of 71 million miles – about equivalent to that between Venus and…

Our Sharpest (Ground-Based) View of Pluto Yet:

Real planet, dwarf planet, KBO… who cares? What matters here is that astronomers from NASA, NOAO and the Gemini Observatory have created the sharpest image of Pluto ever made with ground-based observations — and developed a new way to verify potential Earth-like exoplanets at the same time. Not too shabby, I’d say. Here’s how they…

What We’ve Learned From The Kuiper Belt

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the first Kuiper Belt Object, 1992QB1. Called KBOs for short, these are distant and mostly tiny worlds made up of ice and rock that orbit the Sun at incredible distances, yet are still very much members of our Solar System. Since 1992 over 1,300 KBOs have been found,…

Pluto: The Biggest Dwarf

There’s a size war being waged at the outskirts of our solar system, and it looks like Pluto may come out as the reigning champ. Ever since its discovery in 2003, the dwarf planet Eris — located in the Kuiper Belt of frozen worlds far beyond the orbit of Pluto — has been a key…