Picture post: NASA fails to spare Pluto’s blushes

Picture post: NASA fails to spare Pluto's blushes

New pictures of Pluto taken by the Hubble space telescope show that the dwarf planet became significantly redder between 2000 and 2002. The images are the most detailed pictures taken of Pluto and are made up from a suite of images taken in 2002 and 2003. Comparing these images with those from 1994 reveals that Pluto’s northern hemisphere has brightened and its southern hemisphere has darkened.

DARPA to universities: Let’s collaborate

This afternoon, Regina Dugan, the new-ish director of the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) gave US President Barack Obama’s science advisory panel a briefing on what makes the mysterious funding agency unique and how she will guide its future.  Read more

US murderer executed with a single drug

This morning, convicted murderer Kenneth Biros became the first person executed in the United States using an overdose of thiopental sodium rather than the typical three-drug cocktail. Despite objections that the new procedure could take more than twice as long to kill, it took just ten minutes, according to the local news site Vindy.com.