Science is everything. From the blood cells that pulse through our veins to the orbits of the planets, science discovers, explains, and questions every aspect of human life and imagination. Science excites. It satisfies curiosity and drives us to explore further.
Science Planet is a new portal into the world of science. We intend to do more than re-post science news. We want to investigate the science behind the stories of the day. And we want to tell the stories behind the science. These are separate pursuits, but the idea is to dig deeper, to uncover and expose the intersections of science and humanity. The interesting and fascinating ways that people touch science and science touches people.
Our ultimate goal is to share our passion for science. Science Planet will further science education with innovative interactive content. We will also support and promote institutions of science like museums and science centers.
Together, we will explore a new world of science and discovery. Thank you for joining us on this journey!
Our “Raw Data” features will highlight unique images from scientific research and history. This photo from the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera on the New Horizons probe kicks things off with a dramatic view of Pluto.
“This image was made just 15 minutes after New Horizons’ closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, as the spacecraft looked back at Pluto toward the sun. The wide-angle perspective of this view shows the deep haze layers of Pluto’s atmosphere extending all the way around Pluto, revealing the silhouetted profiles of rugged plateaus on the night (left) side. The shadow of Pluto cast on its atmospheric hazes can also be seen at the uppermost part of the disk. On the sunlit side of Pluto (right), the smooth expanse of the informally named icy plain Sputnik Planum is flanked to the west (above, in this orientation) by rugged mountains up to 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) high, including the informally named Norgay Montes in the foreground and Hillary Montes on the skyline. Below (east) of Sputnik, rougher terrain is cut by apparent glaciers.
“The backlighting highlights more than a dozen high-altitude layers of haze in Pluto’s tenuous atmosphere. The horizontal streaks in the sky beyond Pluto are stars, smeared out by the motion of the camera as it tracked Pluto. The image was taken with New Horizons’ Multi-spectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) from a distance of 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers) to Pluto. The resolution is 700 meters (0.4 miles).
“The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built, and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The Southwest Research Institute, based in San Antonio, leads the science team, payload operations and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.”
Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute