NASA's New Horizons probe has lifted the veil on Pluto. On July 14, New Horizons performed the first-ever flyby of the faraway dwarf planet, zooming within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of its frigid surface. The close encounter is giving researchers their first up-close looks at Pluto, which has remained mysterious since its 1930 discovery. Main Story: Pluto Flyby Success! NASA Probe Phones Home After Epic Encounter
New Horizons continued beaming flyby data home for months after the the flyby, then went into a hibernation mode to conserve resources for the Jan. 1, 2019 flyby of the Kuiper Belt Object Ultima Thule. It awoke from hibernation to prepare for the KBO encounter in June 2018. Space.com's complete coverage of New Horizons' epic Pluto flyby appears below:
Infographics and Multimedia:
- How NASA's New Horizons Mission to Pluto Works (Infographic)
- Living on Pluto: Dwarf Planet Facts Explained (Infographic)
- Pluto's 5 Moons Explained: How They Measure Up (Infographic)
- Pluto: A Dwarf Planet Oddity (Infographic)
- Inside Dwarf Planet Pluto (infographic)
- Destination Pluto: NASA's New Horizons Mission in Pictures
- Photos of Pluto and Its Moons
Friday, July 24
Wednesday, July 22
Tuesday, July 21
Monday, July 20
Friday, July 17
NASA Unveiling New Pluto Flyby Photos Today: How to Watch Live NASA will reveal more of the New Horizons spacecraft's up-close photos of Pluto and its moons today (July 17), and you can watch the unveiling live.
Thursday, July 16
New Photos of Pluto and Moon Surprise, Puzzle Scientists The first up-close images of Pluto and its biggest moon, Charon, are making scientists rethink the inner workings of these and other icy, far-flung worlds.
Watch Stephen Colbert Talk Pluto Flyby with Neil deGrasse Tyson (Video) Astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson famously insists that Pluto should not be considered a planet — and Stephen Colbert, former host of "The Colbert Report," put that conviction to the test in a recent interview with the famed astronomer.Late Show discussion on Pluto’s planet status.
Pluto's Big Moon Charon Has a Bizarre Mountain in a Moat (Photo) A newly released Charon photo, which was taken by NASA's New Horizons probe during its epic Pluto flyby Tuesday (July 14), reveals a mountain rising out of a big hole on the 750-mile-wide (1,200 kilometers) moon's surface.
Revealed by New Horizons, Pluto's 'Heart' Named for Planet's Discoverer The New Horizons science team has unofficially named Pluto's huge heart-shaped region after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the dwarf planet in 1930.
Wednesday, July 15
Pluto Unveiled: NASA Photos Reveal Ice Mountains and Active Moon The first close-up photo of Pluto revealed a mountain range rising 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) into Pluto's sky, along with a surface just 100 million years old at the most. A view of the dwarf planet's big moon Charon didn't disappoint, either.
New Pluto Photos Contain Multitude of Mysteries The newest images of Pluto and its moons, taken by NASA's New Horizons probe, revealed mountains that compete with the Rockies, chasms that dwarf the Grand Canyon and swarms of other mysteries to investigate.
President Obama Hails NASA Pluto Flyby President Barack Obama fired off a congratulatory tweet Tuesday (July 14) celebrating the first-ever flyby of Pluto, which NASA's New Horizons spacecraft performed earlier that day.
'Chasing Pluto': PBS Documentary on Epic New Horizons Flyby Airs Tonight "Chasing Pluto," a production of PBS' NOVA science series, premieres tonight at 9 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. CDT. The documentary provides an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the New Horizons mission and its flyby of the dwarf planet.
Guitar God Joe Satriani 'Awestruck' by Pluto Imagery (Space.com Interview) Guitar legend Joe Satriani shares a new track, and his thoughts on Pluto, with Space.com.
Amazing Pluto Flyby Images to Be Unveiled Today This morning, NASA's New Horizons probe will beam home the first haul of photos collected during Tuesday morning's Pluto flyby. NASA plans to unveil some of the best images during a news conference today at 3 p.m. EDT; watch it live on Space.com.
Visiting Pluto: Reactions to New Horizons' Historic Flyby When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to Pluto yesterday (July 14), becoming the first probe to study the dwarf planet up close, people around the world celebrated the historic moment.
Tuesday, July 14
Pluto Flyby Success! NASA Probe Phones Home After Epic Encounter NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has sent a status update home to its handlers here on Earth, indicating that the probe survived its historic encounter with Pluto this morning (July 14) — and that reams of amazing data should be on the way soon.
Hello, Pluto! NASA Spacecraft Makes Historic Dwarf Planet Flyby NASA's New Horizons probe flew by Pluto this morning (July 14), capturing history's first up-close looks at the frigid, far-flung world and completing the initial reconnaissance of the solar system (if all went according to plan).
Festive Pluto Flyby Brings Cheers, Tears, Kids and (Maybe) Some Drama NASA's New Horizons spacecraft performed the first-ever close flyby of Pluto this morning (July 14). Space.com managing editor Tariq Malik tells us what it was like to be at mission control for the historic moment.
Pluto, Big Moon Charon Blaze in New Technicolor Images The surfaces of Pluto and Charon don't actually look like the inside of a kaleidoscope, but colorful new images reveal materials on the surface and give hints at the history of these two far-out objects.
This Amazing Photo of Pluto Is Just the Beginning, NASA Says Breathtaking detail of the surface of Pluto was revealed in an image taken just before the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest approach to the dwarf planet this morning (July 14).
After Pluto Flyby, NASA Plays the Waiting Game Science and distance conspire to create a long silence from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which flew by Pluto this morning (July 14).
Science Meets Superstition as Nervous Pluto Team Waits As NASA's New Horizons team members wait in anticipation for the spacecraft to check in with them tonight (July 14) after its historic flyby of Pluto, they'll be making sure not to jinx the mission.
'We Explore Because We Are Human': Stephen Hawking on Pluto Flyby From one icon of science to another: in a video message posted this morning (July 14), physicist Stephen Hawking congratulated the New Horizons team on the spacecraft's flyby of Pluto.
Google Doodle Celebrates Pluto Flyby by NASA's New Horizons
Don't miss this Google Doodle celebrating New Horizons' historic Pluto Flyby.
Pluto Flyby Occurs 50 Years After 1st Mars Encounter
NASA's Pluto flyby is occuring on an auspicious day for planetary flybys. Today is the 50th anniversary of the Mariner 4 Mars flyby.
Monday, July 13
Watch the Pluto Flyby: How to See NASA Make History Online
On Tuesday (July 14), NASA will give Pluto its first close-up since the dwarf planet's discovery 85 years ago, and you can follow it all online. Be warned, however: You'll have to rise early and stay up late.
Pluto at Last! NASA Spacecraft Arrives for Dwarf Planet Close-Up Tuesday
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is closing in on its closest approach to Pluto. See how the Tuesday flyby of the dwarf planet will cap a nearly decade-long flight to the edge of the solar system
First Flybys: From Mercury to Pluto, a History of Solar System Surveys
NASA's Pluto flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft may be the biggest event in space exploration this year, but it has is the latest in a long legacy of planetary flybys. See that history here.
Why Do People Love Pluto?
Pluto. Call it a planet or dwarf planet, whatever you like, but this small planetary body at the edge of our solar system has evoked emotions among scientists and the public for more than 80 years. See why we love Pluto so much.
Sunday, July 12
Huge Canyon Spied on Pluto Moon Charon (Photos)
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has spotted multiple craters and canyons on Pluto's big moon Charon, including one chasm that appears to be longer and deeper than Arizona's Grand Canyon, mission team members said.
A Brief History of Pluto Viewing: From Its Discovery to New Horizons Flyby
A history of attempts to study Pluto over the last 100 years, from its role as the mysterious "Planet X" to its upcoming New Horizons close-up.
New Horizons' Final Look at Pluto's Odd Dark Spots (Photo)
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has captured its last and best photo of Pluto's four mysterious dark spots.
Saturday, July 11
Pluto's Complex Surface Coming into Focus (Photo)
Pluto's frigid surface abounds with mysterious and complex features, the latest photo by NASA's approaching New Horizons spacecraft shows.
Ice Lab Plays It Cool for Pluto Flyby
Northern Arizona University's ice lab is growing and analyzing exotic ices like those found on Pluto's surface.
Pluto Flyby: How NASA Space Probes Will Track Epic Encounter
A fleet of NASA spacecraft is tracking the agency's New Horizons spacecraft ahead of its planned July 14 flyby of Pluto.
Friday, July 10
Pluto 'Totally Different' from Big Moon Charon, New Photos Show
New photos by NASA's approaching New Horizons probe capture Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, in fascinating detail.
What Pluto Can Teach Scientists About 'Star Wars' Planet Tatooine
In recent years, planetary scientists have begun to suggest that Pluto and its moons might have something in common with the fictional planet Tatooine, home of Luke Skywalker.
Thursday, July 9
Undiscovered Country - How Many More Plutos Are There?
Pluto may only be the beginning of NASA New Horizons' exploration of the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt.
Wednesday, July 8
'Mission Pluto' Documentary to Premiere Next Week (Exclusive Video)
"Mission Pluto" will air on National Geographic Channel on July 14. That very morning, New Horizons will cruise within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto's surface, returning history's first up-close looks at the faraway world.
Lifting the Veil on Pluto's Atmosphere
Does Pluto really have baby snowflakes and ice volcanoes? New Horizons team members weigh in.
Pluto's 'Heart' Spied by New Horizons Spacecraft (Photo)
A new image taken by New Horizons yesterday (July 7), when the probe was less than 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto, shows a large, heart-shaped feature on the dwarf planet's surface.
How to Find Pluto in the Night Sky: July 8
In anticipation of the New Horizons flyby of Pluto on July 14, this sky chart can help you find Pluto in the night sky (with the assistance of a high power telescope).
Tuesday, July 7
From Sputnik to Spock: Crowdsourced Names for Pluto Map Submitted
Researchers working on NASA's New Horizons mission have submitted for official approval a long list of crowdsourced names that will help fill out the first-ever maps of Pluto and its five moons.
'Not Yet Explored' No More: New Horizons Flying Stamp to Pluto
A 1991 Pluto-themed stamp bearing the words "Not yet explored" will fly past the dwarf planet aboard NASA's New Horizons spacecraft next week.
'Direct From Pluto': Science Channel to Air New Horizons' Flyby Images
Images from the New Horizons spacecraft's Pluto flyby next week are set to star in a new hour-long special, “Direct from Pluto: The First Encounter,” premiering on the Science Channel on Wednesday, July 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
Monday, July 6
Pluto's Odd Dark Spots Continue to Puzzle Scientists (Photos)
New photos by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveal a great deal of variation and complexity across Pluto's surface — including the four large dark patches near the equator first spotted by the probe late last month.
New Horizons Glitch Won't Affect Pluto Flyby, NASA Says
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will be ready for its epic Pluto flyby next week despite a recent glitch, mission team members say.
Sunday, July 5
Pluto Probe Suffers Glitch 10 Days Before Epic Flyby
A glitch caused NASA's New Horizons spacecraft to go dark for more than an hour Saturday (July 4), just 10 days before its historic flyby of Pluto.
Thursday, July 2
On Pluto's Doorstep: Latest Photos by New Horizons Probe
Though New Horizons' Pluto flyby doesn't occur until July 14, great images from the probe are already rolling in. Here, Space.com highlights some of New Horizons' best Pluto pics from the close encounter's home stretch.
Domo Arigato, Mr. Pluto: Rock Band Styx Visits New Horizons Team
The rock band Styx toured the control center for NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, and learned more about Pluto's smallest moon, also named Styx.
Pluto Probe's Hazard Search Turns Up No New Moons
The New Horizons probe has spotted no signs of rings or additional moons in the Pluto system, so the spacecraft will remain on its original trajectory when it zooms past the dwarf planet on July 14, NASA officials announced Wednesday (July 2).
Wednesday, July 1
New Horizons Spots Methane Ice on Pluto
With less than two weeks until its close encounter with Pluto, NASA's New Horizon's probe has detected methane ice on the surface of the dwarf planet. Methane was first discovered on Pluto in 1976.
Epic Pluto Flyby Occurs This Month
NASA's New Horizons probe will cruise within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto's surface on July 14, capturing the first-ever good looks at the frigid, faraway and mysterious world.
How to Find Pluto in the Night Sky: July 1
In anticipation of the New Horizons flyby of Pluto on July 14, this sky chart can help you find Pluto in the night sky (with the assistance of a high-power telescope).
Tuesday, June 30
Pluto and Charon Starting to Come into Focus (Photo)
Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, posed for a solemn portrait taken by NASA's New Horizon's probe, which is only two weeks away from its close encounter with the dwarf planet.
Wednesday, June 24
'Oh Pluto': Song Celebrates Upcoming Flyby of Dwarf Planet
Singer-songwriter Craig Werth has written a song called "Oh Pluto" to highlight and celebrate NASA's New Horizons mission, which will give the world its first up-close looks at the dwarf planet during a highly anticipated flyby on July 14.
Tuesday, June 23
Pluto Probe Spies Weird 'Dark Pole' on Big Moon Charon (Photos)
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has spotted a strange dark patch at the pole of Pluto's big moon Charon, further whetting researchers' appetites ahead of the probe's epic flyby of the dwarf planet system next month.
First Color Movies of Pluto Reveal Double-Planet Dance (Video)
The first color "movies" of Pluto as seen by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reveal the sheer strangeness of the orbital dance between the dwarf planet and its largest moon Charon.
Tuesday, June 16
Pluto Awaits: NASA Spacecraft 20 Million Miles from Epic Encounter
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is less than one month away from its flyby of Pluto and in great shape for what promises to be a truly epic encounter with the dwarf planet.
Friday, June 12
One Month from Pluto, NASA Probe Sees Dwarf Planet's Many Faces
The many "faces" of Pluto are visible in new images by NASA's New Horizons probe, which is only one month away from the first-ever close encounter with the dwarf planet.
Monday, June 8
NASA's 'Pluto Time' Shows You How Bright It Is on Dwarf Planet
A new NASA Web tool called "Pluto Time" lets users experience the light levels that prevail at noon on the dwarf planet. Users enter their location, and Pluto Time tells them the next available opportunity to soak up some Plutonian rays.
Friday, June 5
7 Wild Myths About Pluto
A rundown of some of the most common misconceptions about the dwarf planet, which will be imaged in detail for the first time during the July 14 flyby of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.
Thursday, June 4
Why Pluto Is a Planet, and Eris Is Too (Op-Ed)
Throw out your textbooks — there are 10 planets in our solar system.
Pluto Probe Should Have Clear Sailing Amid Tiny Moons
The path to Pluto this summer for NASA's New Horizons spacecraft should be relatively smooth and safe, a new and improved portrait of the dwarf planet's moons suggests.
'Dear Pluto': Campaign Asks Kids to Say 'Hi' to Dwarf Planet
A campaign called "Dear Pluto" aims to get kids around the country excited ahead of the New Horizons spacecraft's historic flyby of the dwarf planet this summer.
Wednesday, June 3
Pluto's Moons Are Even Weirder Than Thought
Pluto's moons are even stranger and more intriguing than scientists had imagined, observations by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope reveal.
Thursday, May 28
Pluto Shows No Danger Signs Yet for Incoming NASA Probe
New Horizons' hunt for new moons, rings and other potential hazards near Pluto has turned up nothing so far.
Wednesday, May 27
Pluto-bound Spacecraft Bringing Dwarf Planet into Focus (Photos)
NASA's New Horizons probe, which will make the first-ever flyby of Pluto on July 14, captured the images with its long-range camera from May 8 through May 12, when the spacecraft was a bit less than 50 million miles from the dwarf planet.
Free App Puts NASA Pluto Mission in Palm of Your Hand
The free Pluto Safari app, which came out last month, keeps tabs on NASA's New Horizons mission, counting down its July 14 close encounter to the second, and teaches users about the frigid, distant realm the spacecraft is exploring.
Friday, May 22
What Would It Take to Send People to Pluto?
A manned mission to Pluto may be far out, but it's not impossible.
Tuesday, May 19
NASA Pluto Probe May Carry Crowdsourced Message to Aliens
NASA is considering allowing a team of researchers, teachers, artists and engineers to upload an interstellar message to the agency's New Horizons spacecraft, which will perform the first-ever flyby of Pluto on July 14.
Friday, May 15
NASA Pluto Probe Begins Search for New Moons, Rings
NASA's New Horizons probe, which is set to perform the first-ever flyby of Pluto on July 14, has begun hunting for possible rings and undiscovered moons, in an effort to identify potential hazards near the dwarf planet.
Thursday, May 14
Pluto-Palooza! Celebrations Start as NASA's Pluto Close Encounter Nears
As New Horizons nears its closest approach with Pluto, the mission team is hosting 'Pluto-Palooza' events in multiple locations around the country.
Wednesday, May 13
'What is Pluto?' How Astronaut Mark Kelly Fared on Celebrity Jeopardy!
The astronaut who commanded the second-to-last space shuttle mission placed second on "Celebrity Jeopardy!," finishing behind an NFL football player. "Jeopardy made flying a rocket look easy!" said Mark Kelly.
Tuesday, May 12
All 5 of Pluto's Known Moons Spied by NASA Probe (Photo)
New Horizons took a series of images from April 25 through May 1. The shots mark the first time New Horizons has managed to resolve the extremely faint Pluto moons Kerberos and Styx, mission team members said.
More Pluto Resources
- Dwarf Planet Pluto: Facts About the Icy Former Planet
- New Horizons: Exploring Pluto and Beyond
- Pluto's Moons
- How Far Away is Pluto?
- How Big is Pluto?
- Does Pluto Have an Atmosphere?
- How Cold is Pluto?
- What is Pluto Made Of?
- Clyde Tombaugh: Astronomer Who Discovered Pluto
- Lowell Observatory: Where Pluto Was Discovered