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January 07, 2010
New Horizons Now Closer To Pluto Than Earth
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 30, 2009
The new year approaches with New Horizons zooming past another milestone: the NASA spacecraft is now closer to target planet Pluto than its home planet, Earth. "This is the first of several milestones over the next 10 months that mark the halfway points in our journey to the solar system's frontier, where Pluto lies. We on the mission team know we will have a long way to go, but are ... read more

Hubble Finds Smallest Kuiper Belt Object Ever Seen
Washington DC (SPX) Dec 18, 2009
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered the smallest object ever seen in visible light in the Kuiper Belt, a vast ring of icy debris that is encircling the outer rim of the solar system just beyond Neptune. The needle-in-a-haystack object found by Hubble is only 3,200 feet across and a whopping 4.2 billion miles away. The smallest Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) seen previously in reflected ... more

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The PI's Perspective - Farewell 2009
Baltimore MD (SPX) Dec 08, 2009
New Horizons is now more than 1,400 days into its 9.5-year journey and well past 15 AU (astronomical units) from the Sun. We still have about 2,050 days ahead of us before we reach the Pluto system, but on Dec. 29, we'll reach the first of several midway milestones. New Horizons will be closer to Pluto (the red line) than to Earth (the blue curve). This marker puts a nice capstone on 2009 ... more

'Eyes' of Herschel Will Survey Trans-Neptunian Region
Paris, France (SPX) Oct 09, 2009
In the framework of the key program "TNOs Are Cool: A Survey of the Trans-Neptunian Region," Herschel will reveal the physical properties of the poorly known objects orbiting beyond Neptune. The Herschel Space Observatory, one of the cornerstone missions of the European Space Agency with participation from NASA, was launched successfully in May this year. Herschel is the only space ... more

Astronomy Question Of The Week: Why Is Pluto No Longer A Planet
Bonn, Germany (SPX) Oct 06, 2009
It happened on 24 August 2006: instead of the nine planets it had up to that time, our Solar System suddenly had only eight - the planet Pluto was no longer a planet. What happened? In August 2006, astronomers from all over the world gathered at the 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Prague. Among other things, they reorganised our planetary system and ... more

New Horizons Hits Halfway Mark Between Saturn, Uranus Orbits
Laurel MD (SPX) Sep 09, 2009
New Horizons has sailed silently through another milestone on the way to its historic reconnaissance of the Pluto system, reaching the halfway point between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. The NASA spacecraft will reach 14.41 astronomical units from the Sun - 1.34 billion miles, or nearly 14 1/2 times the distance between the Earth and Sun - between 6-7 p.m. EDT "Only five operating space ... more

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  • New Horizons Team Begins To Look At Kuiper Targets


  • Dawn Continues Its Quiet Cruise


  • New Horizons Checks Out, Enters Hibernation


  • Flashback To Neptune's Moon Triton
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    Pluto likely to remain a pariah
    Rio De Janeiro (UPI) Aug 2, 2009
    Pluto's lowered celestial status will probably stick at an upcoming meeting of astronomers in Rio de Janeiro, an American astronomer predicted Sunday. Pluto was reduced from a full-fledged planet -- the ninth in the Earth's solar system -- to dwarf planet at a meeting of the International Astronomical Union three years ago in Prague, Czech Republic. The Houston Chronicle reporte ... more

    Spacecraft Gets Remote Annual Check Up From Home
    Laurel MD (SPX) Jul 16, 2009
    The work is fun, no doubt there; but it never ends on this mission of exploration - particularly in the summer, when we conduct our annual spacecraft checkouts. We awakened New Horizons from its record-setting 202-day electronic hibernation just last week, on July 7. We're now almost 14 astronomical units from the Sun (the official crossing date will be July 27), and nearing the halfway ... more

    Galileo's Notebooks May Reveal Secrets Of New Planet
    Melbourne, Australia (SPX) Jul 10, 2009
    Galileo knew he had discovered a new planet in 1613, 234 years before its official discovery date, according to a new theory by a University of Melbourne physicist. Professor David Jamieson, Head of the School of Physics, is investigating the notebooks of Galileo from 400 years ago and believes that buried in the notations is the evidence that he discovered a new planet that we now know as ... more

    New Horizons Wakes For Annual Checkout
    Baltimore MD (SPX) Jul 09, 2009
    New Horizons is up from the longest nap of its cruise to Pluto, as operators "woke" the spacecraft from hibernation yesterday for its annual series of checkouts and tests. The actual wake-up call went in months ago; the commands for New Horizons to power up and reawaken its hibernating systems were radioed to its computer before it entered hibernation on Dec. 16, 2008. During hibernation ... more

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  • Planning Six Years Ahead


  • New Horizons Team Remembers The Girl Who Named Pluto


  • The PI's Perspective: One-Third Down


  • New Horizons Detects Neptune's Moon Triton
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