The space race and the digital age gave us opportunities for closer observation, but none so close as NASA's New Horizons probe. It passed less than 10,000 miles (17,000 kilometers) from Pluto's surface in July 2015. In December, it began sending back its best images of the dwarf planet's surface. As Alan Stern, the project's principal investigator, said: “The science we can do with these images is simply unbelievable." Check a few of them out in the above NOW video. … [Read more...] about Our Closest Look Ever at Pluto’s Weird, Beautiful Surface
The solar system
It's a system that's been around since ancient times. "The idea of celestial coordinates does assume that the sky is a sphere that surrounds the Earth. This is the idea that traces back to the early belief that the Earth was the center of everything," Christopher Palma, a teaching professor and associate head for undergraduate programs in the Department of Astronomy and Physics at the Pennsylvania State University, says in an email. "Even though we now know that to not be true, it is still true that the sky appears to be a sphere surrounding us, so we can use spherical coordinates to identify any location on the sky." … [Read more...] about How Do We Find Things in the Blackness of Space?