Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2015 May 27

Approaching Pluto
Video Credit: NASA, Johns Hopkins U. Applied Physics Lab., Southwest Research Inst.

Explanation: Here comes Pluto. NASA's robotic New Horizons spacecraft is now beyond the orbit of Neptune and closing fast on the Solar System's most famous unexplored world. The featured time lapse video shows Pluto and Pluto's largest moon, Charon, orbiting their common center of mass in 13 frames taken from April 12 to April 18. Although blurry, images in the video now rival even the best images of Pluto yet taken from Earth. New Horizons remains on schedule to zoom past the distant dwarf planet on July 14.

Tomorrow's picture: sideways spiral

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
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