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New Horizons films Charon orbiting Pluto


Posted on Wednesday, 13 August, 2014 | Comment icon 11 comments

An artist's impression of the surface of Pluto. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 ESO
The New Horizons spacecraft has managed to capture the orbit of Pluto's largest moon like never before.
With just under one year left to go before its historic flyby of the distant dwarf planet, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has been able to focus its long range cameras on its destination from over 265 million miles away and record a series of photographs showing Pluto's moon Charon orbiting around it.

The images represent the closest and most detailed views of Pluto to date and scientists are promising much clearer shots in the months to come. Once New Horizons finally does reach its destination the world will be treated to the first close-up photographs of Pluto ever taken.

"The image sequence showing Charon revolving around Pluto set a record for close-range imaging of Pluto - they were taken from 10 times closer to the planet than the Earth is," said principal investigator Alan Stern. "We are really excited to see our target and its biggest satellite in motion from our own perch, less than a year from the historic encounter ahead!"

Charon is only one of five moons in orbit around Pluto but is by far the largest at 750 miles across which is actually more than half the diameter of the planet itself.


Source: Space.com | Comments (11)

Tags: Pluto, Charon, New Horizons

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 13 August, 2014, 17:53
"Charon is only one of five moons in orbit around Pluto but is by far the largest at 750 miles across which is actually more than half the diameter of the planet itself." Didn't realize it was classified as a planet again. Might as well call it a binary planetary system, since they're almost the same size. I don't think Pluto lost its status as a planet. It was rather reclassified as a dwarf planet. I'm probably wrong though.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Sundew on 13 August, 2014, 18:37
I don't think Pluto lost its status as a planet. It was rather reclassified as a dwarf planet. I'm probably wrong though. "What's in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet." Though the "dwarf planet" designation has irked some, Pluto is still the same old Pluto. Can't wait to see the closeups!
Comment icon #4 Posted by alfonso on 13 August, 2014, 19:47
it reminds me of my old spectrum 128k computer games haha
Comment icon #5 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 13 August, 2014, 22:38
It's getting closer!!!!
Comment icon #6 Posted by SD455GTO on 13 August, 2014, 23:10
The Sails of ...
Comment icon #7 Posted by qxcontinuum on 14 August, 2014, 4:00
Nice pixels,
Comment icon #8 Posted by krypter3 on 14 August, 2014, 4:38
One day they'll create space crafts that can take pictures like the artists draw =\
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 14 August, 2014, 12:52
Nice pixels, What exactly were you expecting? New Horizons is still 11 months and 398 million km (247 million miles) from Pluto. One day they'll create space crafts that can take pictures like the artists draw =\ They have already made spacecraft that take images of REALITY. Maybe a couple of inventions have failed to grab your attention, they are called the camera and the telescope. New Horizons is equipped with both. An artists imagination is a wonderful thing but it has very limited scientific use compared to a photograph.
Comment icon #10 Posted by MJNYC on 14 August, 2014, 15:31
I want to see a few UFO's flying by. LOL
Comment icon #11 Posted by bubblykiss on 15 August, 2014, 21:20
I think I owned this game in 1982


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