Where New Horizons is

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orin stepanek
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:48 am

saturno2 wrote:Hi Orin stepanek
Where New Horizons is ( today 11 - june - 2012 ) and
What is the speed now?
Thanks
Hi! Today: June 13, 2012; New Horizons is 9 AU from Pluto and is moving at 15.25 km per second! :rocketship: 8-)
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by saturno2 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:06 pm

Thanks, Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by bystander » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:46 pm

New Horizons Doing Science in Its Sleep
NASA | JHU APL | New Horizons | 2012 July 09
Pluto-Bound Spacecraft to Collect More Data When ‘Hibernating’
NASA’s New Horizons, now almost 24 times as far from the Sun as the Earth is, is back in hibernation, a slumbering state in which it will remain until January 2013.

But hibernation aboard the spacecraft isn’t quite what it used to be.

Starting this month, New Horizons – the first emissary to Pluto and the third planetary zone of our solar system, and fifth spacecraft to explore the outer heliosphere – has been given a “go” from mission managers to start collecting data on interplanetary space during its long hibernation periods on the way to the Pluto system. That means that New Horizons is now working while it sleeps, gathering new information in a region of space that’s rarely visited by spacecraft.

After launch in January 2006 and a gravity assist from Jupiter in February 2007, New Horizons entered the “deep cruise” phase of its mission, which lasts until Pluto encounter operations ramp up in summer 2014. New Horizons then begins the encounter in January 2015 and makes its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015.

New Horizons spends much of deep cruise in hibernation – essentially long stretches of electronic slumber in which many of the spacecraft’s subsystems (such as science instruments, navigational star trackers and most flight electronics) are turned off to extend their life, and the craft is spin-stabilized to minimize thruster usage.

The original New Horizons project plan called for only one instrument – the Student Dust Counter (SDC) – to be powered during hibernation, allowing it to collect information about dust in the interplanetary medium as the spacecraft zoomed across the solar system. Designed and built by students at the University of Colorado in Boulder, SDC is now the farthest-reaching dust detector ever sent into space, making new observations with each passing day. While New Horizons hibernates, SDC measures dust impacts as it plunges through the solar system’s dust disk and sends these measurements back to Earth from more than a billion miles away. “This information allows us to characterize our solar system’s dust disk, helping us unlock mysteries of dust disks in other solar systems at the outermost reaches of the observable universe,” says Jamey Szalay, a University of Colorado graduate student and the SDC instrument lead.

A New Opportunity

But early in deep cruise, New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, recognized that unique and exciting heliospheric science could be enabled by keeping two other instruments on during hibernation: the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) and Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI).

SWAP and PEPSSI are far more modern and powerful devices than their 1970s-vintage counterparts on the Pioneer 10 and 11 and Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft that also traversed deep space between the giant planets. These instruments can measure the charged particle radiation environment along New Horizons’ trajectory, sampling solar wind protons (traveling from the sun at about 400 kilometers per second, or about 1 million miles per hour), pickup ions (created by solar wind protons and solar photons interacting with neutral hydrogen from the interstellar medium), heavy ions (ions heavier than helium), suprathermal ions (which travel faster than the solar wind), and other particles.

"It's been more than 30 years since we've had a spacecraft venture beyond Saturn, and it's the first time we've had observations from this region while having supporting measurements both farther out [from Voyager 1 and 2] and closer to the Sun [missions at Mercury, Earth and Saturn],” says Matthew Hill, PEPSSI instrument scientist from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. “Events associated with solar flares and coronal mass ejections that propagate through the solar wind plasma can now be observed throughout the heliosphere as never before. With solar activity on the rise, the timing is great to have these state-of-the-art New Horizons instruments observing the heliosphere."

With the chance to collect this valuable data in mind, and realizing it could be decades before another spacecraft crosses the region, the New Horizons project decided in 2009 to investigate operating SWAP and PEPSSI during hibernation. After careful study, the project and NASA judged it was possible to do without degrading the instruments’ capability to support the Pluto encounter in 2015. Still, New Horizons would need to maintain sufficient power, data storage and on-board fuel margins during hibernation, and mission operators could only request a modest increase in NASA Deep Space Network (DSN) resources to downlink the extra data. The team also needed to verify that the three instruments would not interfere with each other or the spacecraft if they all operated simultaneously during hibernation. “After all, we didn’t want to make SWAP’s and PEPSSI’s gain to be SDC’s loss!” Stern says.

Test Time

To address all these issues, the mission team conducted several analyses and ground tests, followed by a 10-day, three-instrument test on the spacecraft in October 2011, while New Horizons was actually in hibernation. Encouraged by the results, Principal Investigator Stern gave a preliminary “go” for a longer, enhanced hibernation cruise science test. For 80 days, between January and April 2012, more extensive testing confirmed that SDC, SWAP and PEPSSI could all collect excellent data while operating together during hibernation without any problems.

After a review of these results in early June, Stern and New Horizons Project Manager Glen Fountain, of APL, officially accepted enhanced science as a part of the mission’s hibernation activities. “This adds a valuable new dataset to heliospheric science that only New Horizons can contribute,” Stern says. “It’s a whole new dimension to the science legacy of New Horizons.”

Another (But Now Richer) Hibernation Begins

When the New Horizons operations team placed the spacecraft back into hibernation on July 6, having wrapped up a 10-week annual systems and instrument payload checkout that included a comprehensive and successful rehearsal of the most intense segment of its Pluto flyby, it did so in the new “Hibernation Cruise Science” mode, with SDC, PEPSSI and SWAP collecting data every day.

“This is a real success story for a low-cost outer planets mission. And the team hit two home runs this year, with the success of the Pluto encounter rehearsal and a complex annual checkout, and now the certification of Hibernation Cruise Science,” Stern says. “Now let’s see what heliospheric discoveries we can make on the road to planet Pluto.”
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by neufer » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:56 pm



bystander wrote:New Horizons Doing Science in Its Sleep
NASA | JHU APL | New Horizons | 2012 July 09
Pluto-Bound Spacecraft to Collect More Data When ‘Hibernating’

But hibernation aboard the spacecraft isn’t quite what it used to be.

<<Starting this month, New Horizons – the first emissary to Pluto and the third planetary zone of our solar system, and fifth spacecraft to explore the outer heliosphere – has been given a “go” from mission managers to start collecting data on interplanetary space during its long hibernation periods on the way to the Pluto system. That means that New Horizons is now working while it sleeps, gathering new information in a region of space that’s rarely visited by spacecraft.>>
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:18 pm

Pluto full of surprises; now has 5 moons! http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archiv ... web_print/
View this image
A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is reporting the discovery of another moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto.

The moon is estimated to be irregular in shape and 6 to 15 miles across. It is in a 58,000-mile-diameter circular orbit around Pluto that is assumed to be co-planar with the other satellites in the system.

"The moons form a series of neatly nested orbits, a bit like Russian dolls," said team lead Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif.

The discovery increases the number of known moons orbiting Pluto to five.

The Pluto team is intrigued that such a small planet can have such a complex collection of satellites. The new discovery provides additional clues for unraveling how the Pluto system formed and evolved. The favored theory is that all the moons are relics of a collision between Pluto and another large Kuiper belt object billions of years ago.

The new detection will help scientists navigate NASA's New Horizons spacecraft through the Pluto system in 2015, when it makes an historic and long-awaited high-speed flyby of the distant world.

The team is using Hubble's powerful vision to scour the Pluto system to uncover potential hazards to the New Horizons spacecraft. Moving past the dwarf planet at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour, New Horizons could be destroyed in a collision with even a BB-shot-size piece of orbital debris.

"The discovery of so many small moons indirectly tells us that there must be lots of small particles lurking unseen in the Pluto system," said Harold Weaver of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md.

"The inventory of the Pluto system we're taking now with Hubble will help the New Horizons team design a safer trajectory for the spacecraft," added Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., the mission's principal investigator.

Pluto's largest moon, Charon, was discovered in 1978 in observations made at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. Hubble observations in 2006 uncovered two additional small moons, Nix and Hydra. In 2011 another moon, P4, was found in Hubble data.

Provisionally designated S/2012 (134340) 1, the latest moon was detected in nine separate sets of images taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 on June 26, 27, and 29, 2012 and July 7 and 9, 2012.

In the years following the New Horizons Pluto flyby, astronomers plan to use the infrared vision of Hubble's planned successor, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, for follow-up observations. The Webb telescope will be able to measure the surface chemistry of Pluto, its moons, and many other bodies that lie in the distant Kuiper Belt along with Pluto.

The Pluto team members are M. Showalter (SETI Institute), H.A. Weaver (Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University), and S.A. Stern, A.J. Steffl, and M.W. Buie (Southwest Research Institute).

CONTACT
Ray Villard
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
410-338-4514
villard@stsci.edu

Karen Randall
SETI Institute, Mountain View, Calif.
650-960-4537
krandall@seti.org
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by bystander » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:15 pm

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by saturno2 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:12 am

Pluto System has 5 Moons.
It¨s very interesting because a small planet ( not dwarf ) can to have 5 Moons.
I say small planet if Pluto has the status of " planet ",again. I don¨t know. :?:

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jul 12, 2012 12:35 pm

saturno2 wrote:Pluto System has 5 Moons.
It¨s very interesting because a small planet ( not dwarf ) can to have 5 Moons.
I say small planet if Pluto has the status of " planet ",again. I don¨t know. :?:
:wink: :D
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P.U.

Post by neufer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:29 pm

Pluto:
[list]119.59° : Axial tilt
5 : # known moons before first spacecraft visit[/list][/color]Uranus:
[list]97.77° : Axial tilt
5 : # known moons before first spacecraft visit[/list][/color]
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Charon's Broom-Hilda resonance?

Post by neufer » Thu Jul 12, 2012 5:07 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilda_family wrote:
<<The asteroids of the Hilda group (Hildas) are in 3:2 mean motion resonance with Jupiter. That is, their orbital periods are 2/3 that of Jupiter. Hildas move in their elliptical orbits so that their aphelia put them opposite Jupiter, or 60 degrees ahead of or behind Jupiter at the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points. Over three successive orbits each Hilda asteroid passes through all of these three points in sequence. Consequently, a Hilda's orbit has a semi-major axis between 3.7 AU and 4.2 AU [vs. 5.2 AU for Jupiter], an eccentricity less than 0.3, and an inclination less than 20°. Unlike the Trojan asteroids they may have any difference in longitude with Jupiter. The only other planet with objects in a 3:2 resonance is the outer most gas giant Neptune with the plutinos such as Pluto.>>
Image

Code: Select all

_______         Radial Distance from Pluto in kilometers

Charon's Broom-Hilda resonance       12,550 - 14,200
New Horizons Flyby                        13,695  
Charon 	                                17,536
Pluto V 	                               42,000
Pluto II 	                              48,708
Pluto IV 	                              59,000
Pluto III 	                             64,749
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-205_162-57471079/new-pluto-moon-could-endanger-spacecraft-journey/ wrote: By Mike Wall, CBS News, July 12, 2012 11:16 AM (SPACE.com) The discovery of another moon around Pluto is exciting news for planetary science, but it's also likely causing some anxiety for the team in charge of New Horizons, a spacecraft set to be the first probe ever to visit the dwarf planet.

<<On Wednesday (July 11), researchers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope announced the detection of P5, a tiny moon measuring just 10 to 24 kilometers across. P5 brings Pluto's known satellite tally to five, and it comes just a year after Hubble spotted moon number four, the similarly diminutive P4.

These two recent discoveries show that the Pluto system is more crowded than scientists had thought. So NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, which is due to fly by the dwarf planet in 2015, may have to watch its step. "We're finding more and more, so our concern about hazards is going up," New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., told SPACE.com.

The concern is not necessarily that New Horizons, which launched in 2006, will slam into a Pluto moon that has thus far eluded detection. The probe is traveling so fast that a particle the size of a BB could destroy it, so researchers are worried about the broad debris field that Pluto's moons may have spawned. "Every new satellite is a debris producer," Stern said. When these moons suffer impacts, he explained, "the ejecta goes into orbit around Pluto, and so the more satellites, the more concern we have." Stern and his colleagues are inventorying the Pluto system with Hubble to get a better handle on the risks New Horizons faces, and to help design the safest possible trajectory for the spacecraft.

Adjustments to the probe's path could even be made late in the game, as New Horizons nears the dwarf planet, Stern said. "We have a backup trajectory called SHBOT, safe haven bail-out trajectory," he said. "We can fire our engines very late if we see something on approach of the Pluto system using our own cameras. We won't go as close to Pluto in that case. In terms of macroscopic objects, we can go down to objects just a few kilometers wide. Also, we can look for rings and individual particles that are small."

While P5 is keeping New Horizons scientists on their toes, the newfound satellite is further whetting their appetite for what the spacecraft will discover three years from now. "It's another reminder of how little is known" about the Pluto system, Stern said. "Every time we look harder, we find new stuff: An atmosphere, polar caps, more and more moons, a big albedo. When New Horizons gets there, I think it's going to knock our socks off. It's going to be whole new world.">>
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:37 pm

Three years to go to Pluto's flyby! 8-)
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by neufer » Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:57 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Three years to go to Pluto's flyby! 8-)
Our "Resident Geezer" seems quite optimistic. :wink:
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:42 pm

neufer wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:
Three years to go to Pluto's flyby! 8-)
Our "Resident Geezer" seems quite optimistic. :wink:
:D Cautiously optimistic; and patiently anticipating! 8-)
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:40 pm

New Horizons is 24 AU distance from the sun; less than 8 1/2 AU to go. :)
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Doum » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:07 am

Cool, in 3 years from now i will be retired and i will have all my time to watch it happen. wow, i fill lucky. :P

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Moonlady » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:42 pm

orin stepanek wrote:New Horizons is 24 AU distance from the sun; less than 8 1/2 AU to go. :)
What does AU mean? Thanks

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Markus Schwarz » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:20 am

Moonlady wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:New Horizons is 24 AU distance from the sun; less than 8 1/2 AU to go. :)
What does AU mean? Thanks
AU stands for Astronomical Unit, and is the mean distance between the Sun and Earth.

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:25 am

Moonlady wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:New Horizons is 24 AU distance from the sun; less than 8 1/2 AU to go. :)
What does AU mean? Thanks
AU= astronomical unit! It is the distance between the sun and the earth; or about 93,000,000 miles +or-! :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_unit
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Moonlady » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:46 am

orin stepanek wrote:
Moonlady wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:New Horizons is 24 AU distance from the sun; less than 8 1/2 AU to go. :)
What does AU mean? Thanks
AU= astronomical unit! It is the distance between the sun and the earth; or about 93,000,000 miles +or-! :)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomical_unit
Thanks, I know AU as Alternate Universe in literature haha

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:18 pm

New Horizons is now less that 8AU from Pluto! http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php
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SwRI: Pluto's Moons (& Rings?) May Be Hazards for New Horizo

Post by bystander » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:12 pm

Pluto's moons and possible rings may be hazards
New Horizons and the gauntlet it may encounter in 2015
Southwest Research Institute | 2012 Oct 16
Image
New Horizons 2015 encounter with Pluto and Charon (Credit: JHUAPL/SwRI)

NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is now almost seven years into its 9.5-year journey across the solar system to explore Pluto and its system of moons. Just over two years from now, in January 2015, New Horizons will begin encounter operations, which will culminate in a close approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015, and the first-ever exploration of a planet in the Kuiper Belt.

As New Horizons has traveled through the solar system, its science team has become increasingly aware of the possibility that dangerous debris may be orbiting in the Pluto system, putting NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and its exploration objectives into harm's way.

"We've found more and more moons orbiting near Pluto — the count is now up to five," says Dr. Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission and an associate vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute. "And we've come to appreciate that those moons, as well as others not yet discovered, act as debris generators populating the Pluto system with shards from collisions between those moons and small Kuiper Belt objects."

"Because our spacecraft is traveling so fast — more than 30,000 miles per hour — a collision with a single pebble, or even a millimeter-sized grain, could cripple or destroy New Horizons," adds New Horizons Project Scientist Dr. Hal Weaver of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, "so we need to steer clear of any debris zones around Pluto."

The New Horizons team is already using every available tool — including sophisticated computer simulations of the stability of debris orbiting Pluto, giant ground-based telescopes, stellar occultation probes of the Pluto system, and even the Hubble Space Telescope — to search for debris in orbit. At the same time, the team is plotting alternative, more distant courses through the Pluto system that would preserve most of the science mission but avert deadly collisions if the current flyby plan is found to be too hazardous.

"We're worried that Pluto and its system of moons, the object of our scientific affection, may actually be a bit of a black widow," says Stern.

"We're making plans to stay beyond her lair if we have to," adds Deputy Project Scientist Dr. Leslie Young of Southwest Research Institute. "From what we have determined, we can still accomplish our main objectives if we have to fly a 'bail-out trajectory' to a safer distance from Pluto. Although we'd prefer to go closer, going farther from Pluto is certainly preferable to running through a dangerous gauntlet of debris, and possibly even rings, that may orbit close to Pluto among its complex system of moons."

Stern concludes: "We may not know whether to fire our engines on New Horizons and bail out to safer distances until just 10 days before reaching Pluto, so this may be a bit of a cliff-hanger. Stay tuned."

New Horizons May Need to ‘Bail Out’ to Dodge Debris, Rings and Moons in the Pluto System
Universe Today | Nancy Atkinson | 2012 Oct 16
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Please Move the Moon Crossing!

Post by neufer » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:47 pm

bystander wrote:Pluto's moons and possible rings may be hazards
New Horizons and the gauntlet it may encounter in 2015
Southwest Research Institute | 2012 Oct 16
As New Horizons has traveled through the solar system, its science team has become increasingly aware of the possibility that dangerous debris may be orbiting in the Pluto system, putting NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and its exploration objectives into harm's way.

"We've found more and more moons orbiting near Pluto — the count is now up to five," says Dr. Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission and an associate vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute. "And we've come to appreciate that those moons, as well as others not yet discovered, act as debris generators populating the Pluto system with shards from collisions between those moons and small Kuiper Belt objects."

"Because our spacecraft is traveling so fast — more than 30,000 miles per hour — a collision with a single pebble, or even a millimeter-sized grain, could cripple or destroy New Horizons," adds New Horizons Project Scientist Dr. Hal Weaver of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, "so we need to steer clear of any debris zones around Pluto."

"We're worried that Pluto and its system of moons, the object of our scientific affection, may actually be a bit of a black widow," says Stern. "We're making plans to stay beyond her lair if we have to," adds Deputy Project Scientist Dr. Leslie Young of Southwest Research Institute. "From what we have determined, we can still accomplish our main objectives if we have to fly a 'bail-out trajectory' to a safer distance from Pluto. Although we'd prefer to go closer, going farther from Pluto is certainly preferable to running through a dangerous gauntlet of debris, and possibly even rings, that may orbit close to Pluto among its complex system of moons."
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:44 pm

And now it's less that a 1000 days to Pluto! :wink:
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:10 pm

Now it takes over 7 minutes to communicate with New Horizons as it is over 3 1/2 light minutes from Earth! :rocketship:
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by BMAONE23 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:10 pm

Orin,
Did you mean Hours instead of Minutes?
It takes light 4 hours to reach Neptune from the Sun