|2015-7-14: We are finally there.... Pluto! ⬅︎ |
|Starting in the early 1960s, NASA has sent dozens of spacecraft to planets and moons throughout our
system to take pictures and gather data. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune,
along with many of their moons, have all been explored in this way.
After all these decades, there's one famous world -- Pluto -- that has never been visited by any spacecraft
from earth and, because of this, we still know very little about it but this is all about to change.
In 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons spacecraft which, after ten years of travel, is now
Pluto today (July 14th). We are already learning cool things....
- Pluto has at least five moons: Charon, Nix, Hydra, Styx, and Kerebos. But very oddly, Nix, Hydra, Styx
and Kerebos orbit around both Pluto and Charon.
- Pluto and its moons likely formed from the collision of two large bodies that spewed fragments into
space. The two largest pieces eventually became Pluto and Charon, and the smaller ones became the
No doubt there will be lots of headlines, new pictures and discoveries in the weeks and months ahead --
not to be missed!