Where New Horizons is

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orin stepanek
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:26 pm

New Horizons reaches final 4 AU http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20140227.php


New Horizons Reaches the Final 4 (AU)


February 27, 2014

Did you know? An astronomical unit (AU) is the average distance between the Earth and sun, about 93 million miles or 149 million kilometers. New Horizons’ journey from Earth to Pluto will cover more than 32 AU.New Horizons sailed past another milepost today when the NASA spacecraft moved to within four astronomical units (AU) of Pluto – which is less than four times the distance between the Earth and the sun, or about 371 million miles (598 million kilometers).

"We're as close to the Pluto system now as Earth ever gets to Jupiter, a first for any spacecraft,” says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo. “And hold on to your hat, it just gets more and more exciting from here."

Since launch on January 19, 2006, New Horizons has covered nearly 2.89 billion miles (4.62 billion kilometers). It makes a temporal connection with one NASA’s legendary deep-space explorers this summer when it crosses the orbit of Neptune on Aug. 25 — exactly 25 years after Voyager 2 made its historic flight past that giant planet. When New Horizons arrives at Pluto on July 14, 2015, it will have traveled farther than any spacecraft ever has to reconnoiter its prime target.

Follow New Horizons on its journey to Pluto and beyond.
Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by THX1138 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:58 pm

The anticipation is almost driving me up the walls, I am soooo looking forward to the arrival date :!:

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:10 am

Only one year 'til close encounter operations begin! :D
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:32 am

Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by BMAONE23 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:14 pm

orin stepanek wrote:Only one year 'til close encounter operations begin! :D
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/
As of Today, 90% of the travel time until begin of ops has elapsed
3062 days down
306 days until ops begin to ramp up

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jun 12, 2014 11:26 am

Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by BDanielMayfield » Thu Jun 12, 2014 12:05 pm

Thanks for keeping us up to date Orin.
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Doum » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:55 pm

Cracks in Pluto's Moon Could Indicate it Once Had an Underground Ocean

http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/cra ... und-ocean/

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by geckzilla » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:55 pm

So, Hubble is now going to be used to search for a new target for New Horizons after it is done at Pluto, which happens to be pretty close to the galactic center right now. Good game, Pluto. Good game.

http://hubblesite.org/news/2014/29
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:38 am

geckzilla wrote:So, Hubble is now going to be used to search for a new target for New Horizons after it is done at Pluto, which happens to be pretty close to the galactic center right now. Good game, Pluto. Good game.

http://hubblesite.org/news/2014/29
So close and yet so far. But Pluto plays the long game. It will lurk in Sagittarius for about another eight years. I wonder if New Horizons could use Pluto's gravity to sling itself away from the Galactic Plane, towards an easier to find target?

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by geckzilla » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:43 am

I think they are going for any old target, easy to find or not. There are probably enough of them out there. If you wanted, you could scour archival Hubble data for them and probably even find one someone else missed.
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:49 am

Nitpicker wrote:I wonder if New Horizons could use Pluto's gravity to sling itself away from the Galactic Plane, towards an easier to find target?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Horizo ... lt_objects says:
... Because the flight path is determined by the Pluto flyby, with only minimal hydrazine remaining, objects must be found within a cone, extending from Pluto, of less than a degree's width, within 55 AU. Past 55 AU, the communications link becomes too weak, and the RTG wattage will have decayed significantly enough to hinder observations. ...

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by geckzilla » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:00 am

Well, that was helpful. Dang, it's so far away. Also gives you a good idea about how extremely difficult it is to ever detect and Oort cloud object which could be anywhere from 2,000 to 200,000 AU away. Yeah, it'd take a few hundred years just to get the craft to that point.
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Nitpicker » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:56 am

Looks like the approach path of New Horizons towards Pluto is (very roughly) 10 degrees off from the line of sight from Earth to Pluto in July 2015 and heading further away from the galactic plane. The narrow search cone from the position of Pluto in July 2015, out to 55 AU along the current path of New Horizons, would appear from Earth as a very narrow isosceles triangle of sky, with a base about 4 degrees eastward of Pluto. Go Hubble!

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:34 am

Actually, I don't know if the "55 AU" is from Pluto or from Earth. I assumed from Earth.

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by bystander » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:29 am

Nitpicker wrote:Actually, I don't know if the "55 AU" is from Pluto or from Earth. I assumed from Earth.
Probably from the Sun.
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Nitpicker » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:42 am

Sun or Earth, what's a couple of AU between friends? :ssmile:

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by BMAONE23 » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:14 pm

"AU" The "Gold Standard" of distance measurements within our solar system

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:40 pm

Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by neufer » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:23 pm

BMAONE23 wrote:
"AU" The "Gold Standard" of distance measurements within our solar system
Or "IAU": http://delong.typepad.com/.a/6a00e551f0 ... 9e0970c-pi
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:26 am

Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by neufer » Tue Jun 24, 2014 2:03 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
What if Voyager1 wert to Pluto?

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspective.php
ROMEO: I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
  • As that vast shore wash'd with the farthest sea,
    I would adventure for such merchandise.
.......................................................
  • King Richard III Act 4, Scene 4
QUEEN MARGARET: A dream of what thou wert, a breath, a bubble.
  • To be the aim of every dangerous shot.
.......................................................
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Titan_%28moon%29#Observation_and_exploration wrote:
<<The first probe to visit the Saturnian system was Pioneer 11 in 1979, which confirmed that Titan was probably too cold to support life. Titan was examined by both Voyager 1 and 2 in 1980 and 1981, respectively. Voyager 1's course was diverted specifically to make a closer pass of Titan. Unfortunately, the craft did not possess any instruments that could penetrate Titan's haze, an unforeseen factor. Many years later, intensive digital processing of images taken through Voyager 1's orange filter did reveal hints of the light and dark features now known as Xanadu and Shangri-la, but by then they had already been observed in the infrared by the Hubble Space Telescope. Voyager 2 took only a cursory look at Titan. The Voyager 2 team had the option of steering the spacecraft to take a detailed look at Titan or to use another trajectory that would allow it to visit Uranus and Neptune. Given the lack of surface features seen by Voyager 1, the latter plan was implemented.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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HubbleSite: Full Search for New Horizons Targets Proceeds

Post by bystander » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:15 pm

Hubble Survey to Proceed with Full Search for New Horizons Targets
Planetary scientists have successfully used the Hubble Space Telescope to boldly look out to the far frontier of the solar system to find suitable targets for NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. After the marathon probe zooms past Pluto in July 2015, it will travel across the Kuiper Belt — a vast rim of primitive ice bodies left over from the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. If NASA approves, the probe could be redirected to fly to a Kuiper Belt object (KBO) and photograph it up close.

As a first step, Hubble found two KBOs drifting against the starry background. They may or may not be the ideal target for New Horizons. Nevertheless, the observation is proof of concept that Hubble can go forward with an approved deeper KBO search, covering an area of sky roughly the angular size of the full Moon. The exceedingly challenging observation amounted to finding something no bigger than Manhattan Island, and charcoal black, located 4 billion miles away.
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:11 am

Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Mon Jul 14, 2014 11:27 am

365 days or one year to closest approach to Pluto!

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/
Orin

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