The cloud-tops of Jupiter

Shot by New Horizons on its way out of town. [NASA, via]

This picture provides a vivid illustration that Jupiter's atmosphere has more color contrast than any other atmosphere in the solar system, including Earth's. Data obtained from these and other New Horizons images taken during the encounter will provide valuable insight into the processes occurring on this gas giant.

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New close-ups from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft show off Pluto's mysterious complexity

The New Horizons spacecraft sent back new close-up images of Pluto, and they are stunning. Read the rest

Dark Side of the Pluto

"There is no dark side of the Pluto really. Matter of fact it's all dark."

Dark Side of the Pluto revealed in new NASA image from New Horizons mission

Pluto haze! In my brain. Lately, things, they don't seem the same.

How to name an exoplanet, by XKCD

XKCD's hot take on the recent space news around Kepler 452-B and Pluto.

NASA unveils gorgeous new false-color image of Pluto

It may be 'shopped, and we can tell by the pixels, but it's just the most beautiful image of Pluto mankind has ever seen.

National Geographic's Pluto issue, autographed by NASA's New Horizons team

“How cool is this?”

Fly over Pluto in animated New Horizons video. Here are the amazing images NASA released from Pluto Fly By today.

NASA released more amazing space imagery and scientific data, slowly and steadily coming down to earth from the New Horizons space probe after its historic fly-by of Pluto.

Live coverage of Pluto image press conference with NASA New Horizons team

We are as close as we've ever been to Pluto, and images even more spectacular than this are on the way.

Pluto fly-by immortalized in 4 perfect frames by Cyanide & Happiness webcomic

Won't someone think of the poor exoplanets?

This little cartoon captures all of Pluto's lonely feels, as New Horizons probe flys by

Aww. Poor little Pluto. Read the rest

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft phones home from Pluto, and all is “nominal”

“We have a healthy spacecraft, we recorded data on the Pluto system, and we're outbound from Pluto.”

NASA Ground team stands by for Pluto fly-by confirmation signal from New Horizons

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is expected to radio home any minute now. We're watching on NASA TV. The moment will end a nearly 22-hour radio blackout as the probe focused on a series of close-up observations of Pluto and its moons.

From SpaceFlight Now:

Engineers expect to lock on to a carrier signal, then start receiving housekeeping data on the status of the New Horizons spacecraft. No science data will come down during Tuesday night’s pass.

“The reason why you’re not seeing more things immediately is because the spacecraft is spending all its time making the observations of the Pluto system,” says Hal Weaver, New Horizons’ project sciences from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. “That’s what we wanted to do. Of course, you want to optimize the scientific return from the mission.

A signal from New Horizons will be a celebratory moment for the hundreds of engineers and scientists working on the mission. The cessation of communications was part of the plan going into the flyby because New Horizons carries a fixed antenna, meaning mission managers have to choose between contacting Earth and conducting scientific work at Pluto.

Watch live: Ground team standing by for New Horizons signal

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Pluto and other known “not-planets” in our solar system mapped in scale image montage

“Their non-planetary status is a handicap because these are the worlds that we need to get Earthlings excited about exploring.”

Watch: NASA celebrates 50 years of planetary science awesomeness

On July 14, 2015, New Horizons will take the first close-up pictures of Pluto, exactly 50 years to the day after Mariner 4 flew by Mars and took the first close-up pictures ever of another planet. Read the rest