02 July 2015 News

Peculiar Pluto: Spots captured by New Horizons puzzle NASA

We may have demoted Pluto to the status of dwarf planet – but this doesn’t mean we know all of its secrets.

This fact was driven home to the scientific community today, when NASA’s New Horizon’s spacecraft sent back images of a series of evenly spaced spots on Pluto’s surface.

NASA calls the consistency in the size and spacing of the spots “remarkable.”

New Horizons is still on approach to Pluto, and more information about the spots may be revealed in coming days.

There is also the possibility that Pluto’s atmosphere may contain clouds – and New Horizons should be able to track the directions and speeds of Pluto’s wind should it detect them.

Currently, New Horizons is just two weeks away from Pluto. It has made a journey of 3 billion miles over the course of nine years.

Popular articles

Popular articles

Liftoff off the OA-8 Antares-Cygnus cargo carrier with the Asgardia-1 satellite. Astronautics

Space nation's first orbiting satellite

Scientist-astronaut Harrison-Schmitt collects lunar rake samples ranging in size from 1.3 to 2.5 cm during the Apollo 17 mission in 1972. The rake was used to collect rocks and rock chips Space Lounge

NASA’s space police wield full force of law

SLS Block 1, the initial configuration of NASA’s new super heavy lift launch vehicle, will be able to lift at least 70 metric tons to low Earth orbit and is the cornerstone of a new deep space exploration system. Special Reports

SLS ushers transformation of deep space exploration