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Pluto’s Features Just Got Some Seriously Metal Names From Mythology

We all know space is goth. Pluto, however, is the obvious metal baby of the solar system, shrouded in darkness at a distance of up to 4.67 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometres) from Earth. It’s only fitting that everyone’s favourite dwarf planet—named after the Roman god of the underworld—gets some seriously metal names for its mysterious regions. Read More >>

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There’s Growing Evidence That Pluto’s Largest Moon Had a Massive Ocean

Pluto’s moon Charon is the best sidekick a dwarf planet could hope for: unwavering in its loyalty, content to be a minor character in somebody else’s narrative. But two years after the New Horizons flyby, the largest of Pluto’s five moons is finally getting some well-deserved time in the spotlight. New research suggests that Charon’s storied history includes tectonic activity, cryovolcanism, and perhaps, a globe-spanning ocean. Read More >>

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Fly Over Pluto in this Incredibly Detailed New NASA Video

Pluto is the unquestionably the most goth (dwarf) planet in the solar system. Its cold, icy heart and underworld-themed moons are absolutely spooktacular, and yet none of us will ever get to see them in person. Thankfully, new video from NASA gives us an up close and personal tour of our favourite (former) planet. It’s almost as metal as the real deal. Read More >>

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A Mysterious Mars-Sized Object Could Be Hiding at the Edge of Our Solar System

It’s been about 11 years since Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status, leaving a 1,473 mile (2,370 kilometres)-size void in our hearts. Since then, the hunt for Planet X—aptly renamed Planet 9—has grown into an international movement to find such an object in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune’s orbit. Now, scientists Kat Volk and Renu Malhotra from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory are upping the ante—they suggest that a completely different, tenth planetary-mass object is hiding somewhere in the Kuiper Belt as well. Is someone keeping track of all these goddamn hypothetical planets? Read More >>

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Scientists Are Already Planning the Next Mission to Pluto

The Pluto-shaped void in our hearts has yet to be filled by Planet 9, copious amounts of Ben & Jerry’s, or anything. Ever since the summer of 2015, when NASA’s New Horizons performed a six-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons, fans of the dwarf planet have wondered if or when we’d ever go back. According to New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, he and some other planetary scientists are already drawing up the blueprint for a return trip—and this time, it’d be much more than just a flyby. Read More >>

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Tiny Object With Very Silly Name Could Be the Next Dwarf Planet

When we think of dwarf planets, the first thing that comes to mind is obviously the injustice of Pluto getting demoted to one. But the truth is, these little guys—and there are six currently recognised within our solar system—deserve just as much love as their mightier planetary cousins. Good news for them: a new study suggests that the dwarf planet club could get another member, in the form of a very small, distant object located roughly 92 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. Read More >>

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Pluto Is All Lit Up In This New Composite Photo

You know when you've just broken up with someone, so you post the best selfie you can find? Looks like Pluto's getting over being dropped from the planetary Cool Club by doing exactly the same. Except it's not a selfie. Planets can't take selfies. Read More >>

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The Word ‘Planet’ is So Important, and Yet Such Bullshit

Millennials have already lost so much: A relatively secure housing market, the hope of stable careers, and an Earth that wasn’t completely littered with the mistakes of Baby Boomers. So when Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet in 2006, it was another nail in our fragile hearts. But that hasn’t stopped astronomers of all ages debating about whether or not Pluto—and other objects in our solar system—are, in fact, planets. Pluto could be a planet, because the very word “planet” is kinda ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, even for experts. Read More >>

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The Pluto System Is Officially the Underworld Realm Now

If you know your mythology, you’re already familiar with Pluto’s spooktacular namesake; the lovable dwarf planet is named after the Roman god of the underworld, also known as Hades in Greek mythology. He was chiefly in charge of judging the dead, which sounds like one hell of a great gig. Read More >>

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NASA Scientists Have a Plan to Make Pluto a Planet Again

“It’s bullshit,” Alan Stern, principle investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, has said about the demotion of Pluto from the ranks of official planet status. Now Stern is heading up a team of NASA scientists who have proposed a new definition of planets that would do more than just reinstate the icy dwarf planet with the big heart to its former glory. Read More >>

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The Biggest Heart in the Solar System Has an Incredible Origin Story

Even if you’re feeling a bit lonely here on Earth, there is one heart that belongs to you, way, way out there in the cosmic void. Sure, it’s three billion miles away on an icy, airless rock, but don’t let the details get you down. Read More >>

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Glorious New NASA Video Imagines a Landing on Pluto

Using 100 images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft over the course of six weeks, NASA has produced a colourised video showing what it would be like to approach and land on Pluto. Prepare yourself for a marvellous trip. Read More >>

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How Pluto Got Its Heart

Four billion years ago, an asteroid the size of Manhattan smacked into Pluto, punching out a crater that filled up with ice from above and water from below, eventually becoming so heavy it caused the entire planet to tip over. Read More >>

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Pluto’s Skies Might Be More Earth-Like Than We Imagined

Here’s a dazzling thought: Pluto’s blue skies may be cloudy. Earlier this year, we heard a rumour that scientists were considering the possibility of clouds on Pluto. According to NASA, that rumour is very much alive, and a hot topic of discussion at a planetary science conference this week. Read More >>

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New Horizons Spacecraft is Approaching a Mysterious Red Object

NASA’s New Horizons space probe is currently speeding towards a mysterious Kuiper Belt Object known as MU69. Recent observations of the distant object indicate a very reddish surface—possibly even redder than the splotches found on Pluto. Read More >>