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New Horizons’ discoveries keep coming

New ScienceCast video on recent results from New Horizons spacecraft data. Landslides on Charon. Possible snow on Pluto. Plus a preview of New Horizons’ next target.

New Horizons, which passed Pluto in 2015, is on its way to new discoveries deep in the Kuiper Belt – a region inhabited by ancient remnants from the dawn of the solar system. It’ll encounter its next target, a cold, classic Kuiper Belt object called MU69, in late 2018. In the meantime, mission scientists are still poring over the data from New Horizons’ Pluto encounter, and wow! The discoveries they’re still making show Pluto – dwarf planet though it may now be – as one of the most fascinating worlds in our solar system.

Find a transcript of this video here.

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Here’s an example of what New Horizons is still discovering at Pluto. Images recently analyzed from the craft’s cameras revealed what appear to be small, low-lying isolated clouds – the first to be seen on the dwarf planet. Alan Stern – principal investigator for the New Horizons mission – commented: “If there are clouds, it would mean the weather on Pluto is even more complex than we imagined.” Image via ScienceCast video.

Bottom line: New ScienceCast video on what’s still being learned from New Horizons’ 2015 Pluto encounter, plus a preview of the craft’s next target, MU69.

Via NASA ScienceCast

Deborah Byrd

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