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Historic Encounter With Pluto


Waspie_Dwarf
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

NASA's Three-Billion-Mile Journey to Pluto Reaches Historic Encounter

July 14, 2015

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is at Pluto.

After a decade-long journey through our solar system, New Horizons made its closest approach to Pluto Tuesday, about 7,750 miles above the surface — roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India — making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth.

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A pity it can't orbit for just a few times and then move on... Oh well - lets be happy for what we have - and plan the next one!

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For the life of me, I can't see why all this fuss is being made over a cartoon dog! What?.....Oh...... :unsure:

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A pity it can't orbit for just a few times and then move on

If it was travelling slowly enough that it could enter orbit we would be waiting for another decade for it to arrive.

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If it was travelling slowly enough that it could enter orbit we would be waiting for another decade for it to arrive.

Yeah, I know... still...

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If all went well then scientists should get a signal from NH at 8:53PM ET Tuesday. The first image will be downloaded sometime on Wednesday and hopefully released to the public at around 3PM ET. Over the next 16 months the rest of the gathered data will be downloaded to scientists and a science conference convened in November 2017. In other words, we'll be seeing a lot from NH over the next couple of years.

If you were born in 1964 or earlier then you have now witnessed the exploration of every planet in our solar system (I know Pluto is no longer a planet but that is a recent change), Mankind, for the first time has accurate images of all the major planets in our solar system and until NH we didn't even know what color Pluto really is but do now. Sadly, in all likelihood this is the last planet you will ever see via the cameras of a spacecraft doing a flyby because we will have to visit another star to see it again.

Timeline of Solar System exploration: https://en.wikipedia...tem_exploration

Edited by Merc14
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It's when I look back over the pictures in the old astronomy books I had as a kid do I realise how far we've come (not that me being a kid was that long ago).

Genuinely one of the most exciting things to happen in the last few years.

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i want picture of pluto, neptune and of course, uranus!

If you want that last one, it's ten bucks a print.

Harte

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How long before some anomaly hunter sees those false colour images and declares the blue and green to be evidence of liquid water and vegetation on Pluto...

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

The signal from New Horizons has been reacquired by NASA. Everything seems nominal. It looks like the fly-by was successful.

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Great news! Will more pics be coming or is the photo op over?

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Great news! Will more pics be coming or is the photo op over?

There are dozens of images in New Horizon's memory to be downloaded (in fact there is so much data that it will take 16 months to transmit it all to Earth).

Since New horizons has now passed Pluto it will be looking back at the night-side, limiting the amount of useful images that can be taken. The New Hoizons team timed the fly-by so that reflected light from Pluto's largest moon, Charon, would be illuminating the dark-side of Pluto immediately after the encounter but obviously, as the two worlds rotate, this situation will not last long.

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