NASA's New Horizons: The First Mission to the Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt

Discussion in 'science, nature and environment' started by frogwoman, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

  2. golightly

    golightly I've been gentrified. - :(

    I wonder if Pluto will be reclassified as a planet in time for New Horizon's arrival?
     
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  3. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

    Am I the only one that's excited about this? We really don't know what we will find out there. I think it is incredible that a spacecraft is going so far into the distance.
     
  4. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow Seagulls and wasps are brilliant!

    All space exploration is great, although I don't know much about this one beyond that it's going to Pluto. :oops:

    I think there seems to be a fair few on the go at the moment it is difficult to keep an eye on them all. The comet one is the one I'm watching at the moment. :)
     
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  5. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

    didn't know about that one, what is it?

    An American friend told me that Nasa was being privatised. Is there any truth to that?
     
  6. farmerbarleymow

    farmerbarleymow Seagulls and wasps are brilliant!

    I think the comet chaser is called Rosetta. Or that might be another one - I'm easily confused with names! :D
     
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  7. 2hats

    2hats

    New Horizons is closing on Pluto (arrival July 2015) and should awaken from cruise hibernation tonight to begin a programme of observations as it closes in. Currently it's just over 2.9 billion miles from Earth and 160 million miles from Pluto:

    [​IMG]

    Confirmation of wake up should arrive around at Earth 0230UTC tomorrow. Live coverage of that here from 0200UTC:

     
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  8. 2hats

    2hats

    New Horizons woke up on time and is ready to start exploring Pluto:
     
    Greebo and CNT36 like this.
  9. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Flipping heck. It's only just dawned on me we're so close to the sun. :eek:

    :oops:
     
  10. HAL9000

    HAL9000 Lasting Damage

    Yep its only 8 minutes and 20 seconds away
     
  11. gentlegreen

    gentlegreen sproutarian

    Just as well it's only making as much heat as a compost heap - albeit one a million times the volume of the Earth.
     
  12. ferrelhadley

    ferrelhadley These violent delights have violent ends.

    Not really. It was demoted for pretty good reasons once we started finding Kuiper bodies. We needed a classification criteria and Pluto failed the ones we came up with.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_planet
     
  13. 2hats

    2hats

    90 days from closest approach and the first colour image of Pluto and Charon (taken from 115 million km - which is 3/4 of the Earth-Sun distance):

    [​IMG]
     
  14. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist specter haunting

    What depressing cunt called it Charon?
     
  15. 2hats

    2hats

    The USNO astronomer that discovered it - James Christy, supposedly a play on his wife's nickname. Lot's more on that here.
     
  16. Quartz

    Quartz Eclectic contrarian plebeian

    Charon's an entirely appropriate name for a satellite of Pluto. They try to use mythologically-associated names.
     
  17. S☼I

    S☼I I don't want your poxy mint

    Long but very interesting interview with Alan Stern, a bit of an expert on New Horizons. He also trashes the decision to downgrade Pluto's status.

    http://www.astronomy.com/magazine/s...ast/2015/03/alan-stern-new-horizons-and-pluto

    One bit in particular blew my mind - the level of detail we've had of Pluto's surface up til now is such that if it were the Earth, North America wouldn't be visible. New Horizons is going to be able to show so much more detail that again if it were Earth it would be possible to count the lakes in Central Park.
     
  18. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist specter haunting

    I know but the idea that after that point, its the land of the dead is vaugely troubling to me. I have nomenclature issues


     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
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  19. Cid

    Cid 慢慢走

    The idea that the land of the dead lies just beyond Pluto is a lot less troubling than Chris de Burgh.
     
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  20. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    Quartz likes this.
  21. Quartz

    Quartz Eclectic contrarian plebeian

    Whatever it is, it's going to be fascinating to see it revealed over the next few months.
     
  22. NoXion

    NoXion Eat leaden death, demon...

    Can't wait until there are decent high-res images of Pluto.
     
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  23. 2hats

    2hats

    55 million miles out and the faintest known moons of Pluto have been picked up...
    [​IMG]
     
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  24. camouflage

    camouflage "marginalia".

    Greebo and frogwoman like this.
  25. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

  26. frogwoman

    frogwoman лягушкая женщина

    This is great, really looking forward to it :)
     
  27. dilute micro

    dilute micro esse quam videri

    Pluto has more moons that earth? That's not politically correct.
     
  28. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    This is what we have so far, taken on 19th June:

    [​IMG]
     
    Greebo, S☼I and Quartz like this.
  29. getsleep

    getsleep Banned Banned

    Crazy but really really fascinatiing in that kind of way!
     
  30. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    Greebo likes this.

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