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        Pluto News, The Kuipers and Beyond
        February 22, 2021
        Solar system's most distant planetoid confirmed

        Manoa HI (SPX) Feb 11, 2021
        A team, including an astronomer from the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), have confirmed a planetoid that is almost four times farther from the Sun than Pluto, making it the most distant object ever observed in our solar system. The planetoid, nicknamed "Farfarout," was first detected in 2018, and the team has now collected enough observations to pin down the orbit. The Minor Planet Center has now given it the official designation of 2018 AG37. Farfarout's name distinguished it ... read more
        Peering at the Surface of a Nearby Moon
        Washington DC (SPX) Feb 01, 2021
        Among Jupiter's Galilean moons, icy Europa or volcanic Io often take the spotlight - but their sibling moon Ganymede has plenty of secrets to share. Powerful new millimeter observations have now pro ... more
        A Hot Spot on Jupiter
        Washington DC (SPX) Jan 22, 2021
        This composite image shows a hot spot in Jupiter's atmosphere. In the image on the left, taken on Sept. 16, 2020 by the Gemini North Telescope, the hot spot appears bright in the infrared at a wavel ... more
        The 15th Anniversary of New Horizons Leaving Earth
        Boulder CO (SPX) Jan 21, 2021
        New Horizons is healthy and continues to send data back from the Kuiper Belt, even as it speeds farther and farther from the Earth and the Sun. But the mission's jam-packed plans for new Kuipe ... more
        Juno mission expands into the future
        Washington DC (SPX) Jan 15, 2021
        NASA has authorized a mission extension for its Juno spacecraft exploring Jupiter. The agency's most distant planetary orbiter will now continue its investigation of the solar system's largest plane ... more

        Dark Storm on Neptune reverses direction, possibly shedding a fragment
        Baltimore MD (SPX) Dec 16, 2020
        Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope watched a mysterious dark vortex on Neptune abruptly steer away from a likely death on the giant blue planet. The storm, which is wider than the ... more
        The 'Great' Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn
        Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 16, 2020
        Skywatchers are in for an end-of-year treat. What has become known popularly as the "Christmas Star" is an especially vibrant planetary conjunction easily visible in the evening sky over the next tw ... more
        NASA's Juno Spacecraft Updates Quarter-Century Jupiter Mystery
        Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 14, 2020
        Twenty-five years ago, NASA sent history's first probe into the atmosphere of the solar system's largest planet. But the information returned by the Galileo probe during its descent into Jupiter cau ... more
        Swedish space instrument participates in the search for life around Jupiter
        Stockholm, Sweden (SPX) Nov 19, 2020
        The Swedish-led satellite instrument Particle Environment Package (PEP) will help researchers at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics (IRF) to understand how three of Jupiter's icy moons are affec ... more
        Researchers model source of eruption on Jupiter's moon Europa
        Stanford CA (SPX) Nov 11, 2020
        On Jupiter's icy moon Europa, powerful eruptions may spew into space, raising questions among hopeful astrobiologists on Earth: What would blast out from miles-high plumes? Could they contain signs ... more
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        Radiation Does a Bright Number on Jupiter's Moon
        Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 10, 2020
        As the icy, ocean-filled moon Europa orbits Jupiter, it withstands a relentless pummeling of radiation. Jupiter zaps Europa's surface night and day with electrons and other particles, bathing it in ... more
        New plans afoot beyond Pluto
        Boulder CO (SPX) Nov 06, 2020
        New Horizons is healthy and continuing to send data back from the flyby of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) Arrokoth back in late 2018 and early 2019, even as it speeds deeper into the Kuiper Belt and f ... more
        Where were Jupiter and Saturn born?
        Washington DC (SPX) Oct 30, 2020
        New work led by Carnegie's Matt Clement reveals the likely original locations of Saturn and Jupiter. These findings refine our understanding of the forces that determined our Solar System's unusual ... more
        NASA's Webb To Examine Objects in the Graveyard of the Solar System
        Baltimore MD (SPX) Oct 29, 2020
        Beyond the orbit of Neptune, a diverse collection of thousands of dwarf planets and other relatively small objects dwells in a region called the Kuiper Belt. These often-pristine leftovers from our ... more
        Lighting a Path to Find Planet Nine
        New Haven CT (SPX) Oct 28, 2020
        The search for Planet Nine - a hypothesized ninth planet in our solar system - may come down to pinpointing the faintest orbital trails in an incredibly dark corner of space. That's exactly wh ... more
        The mountains of Pluto are snowcapped, but not for the same reasons as on Earth

        Paris, France (SPX) Oct 14, 2020
        In 2015, the New Horizons space probe discovered spectacular snowcapped mountains on Pluto, which are strikingly similar to mountains on Earth. Such a landscape had never before been observed elsewhere in the Solar System. However, as atmospheric temperatures on our planet decrease at altitude, on Pluto they heat up at altitude as a result of solar radiation. So where does this ice come from? An international team led by CNRS scientists* conducted this exploration. They first determined that ... read more
        Arrokoth: Flattening of a snowman
        Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany (SPX) Oct 07, 2020
        The many millions of bodies populating the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune's orbit are yet to reveal many of their secrets. In the 1980s, the space probes Pioneer 1 and 2 as well as Voyager 1 and 2 cross ... more

        SwRI study describes discovery of close binary trans-Neptunian object
        San Antonio TX (SPX) Sep 29, 2020
        A new study authored by Southwest Research In-stitute scientists Rodrigo Leiva and Marc Buie reveals the binary nature of a trans-Neptunian object (TNO). Leiva and Buie utilized data obtained by the ... more
        JPL meets unique challenge, delivers radar hardware for Jupiter Mission
        Pasadena CA (JPL) Sep 22, 2020
        Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory met a significant milestone recently by delivering key elements of an ice-penetrating radar instrument for an ESA (European Space Agency) mission to exp ... more
        Astronomers characterize Uranian moons using new imaging analysis
        Washington DC (UPI) Sep 14, 2020
        Using new image processing techniques, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy were able to characterize the physical properties of Uranus' five moons, according to a study published Monday in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. ... more
        Jupiter's moons could be warming each other
        Tucson AZ (SPX) Sep 11, 2020
        Jupiter's moons are hot. Well, hotter than they should be, for being so far from the sun. In a process called tidal heating, gravitational tugs from Jupiter's moons and the planet itself stretch and ... more
        Atomistic modelling probes the behavior of matter at the center of Jupiter
        Zurich, Switzerland (SPX) Sep 10, 2020
        The hydrogen atom, with its single proton orbited by a single electron, is arguably the simplest material out there. Elemental hydrogen can nonetheless exhibit extremely complex behavior - at megaba ... more
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