Where New Horizons is

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Dec 02, 2014 6:30 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:Thank you, Orin. I'll post the exact URL here http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspective.php to make it easier to jump to it and then go to read the PI archive! :D
Thanks; and here is today's Pluto Picture Of The Day; I thought it was a great artist's conception!
Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Steve Gribben.
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by MargaritaMc » Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:00 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
Thanks; and here is today's Pluto Picture Of The Day; I thought it was a great artist's conception!
It's great! And I'd never even heard of the Pluto Picture of the Day before. (I've probably not been paying enough attention to this thread. Sorry.) The archive has some splendid and very informative images. I'm grateful to you for getting me to know about it!

Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:27 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
MargaritaMc wrote:Thank you, Orin. I'll post the exact URL here http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspective.php to make it easier to jump to it and then go to read the PI archive! :D
Thanks; and here is today's Pluto Picture Of The Day; I thought it was a great artist's conception!
Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Steve Gribben.
Oops; I didn't mean for these images to change every day! :oops:
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:34 pm

There is a very good blog post in the Planetary Society blog on New Horizons here:
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... ience.html

Also, the Planetary Society are hosting a live YouTube event on the 6 December for the waking up of New Horizons.
http://www.planetary.org/get-involved/e ... pluto.html
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
I'll probably watch the later recording, as it will be in the early hours of the morning of the 7th in my time zone!

Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Where New Horizons is - ON PLUTO'S DOORSTEP!

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:28 pm

NASA:On Pluto’s Doorstep, NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Awakens for Encounter
After a voyage of nearly nine years and three billion miles —the farthest any space mission has ever traveled to reach its primary target – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft came out of hibernation today for its long-awaited 2015 encounter with the Pluto system.

Image
New Horizons Mission Operations Manager Alice Bowman and operations team member Karl Whittenburg watch the screens for data confirming that the New Horizons spacecraft had transitioned from hibernation to active mode on Dec. 6.


Operators at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., confirmed at 9:53 p.m. (EST) that New Horizons, operating on pre-programmed computer commands, had switched from hibernation to “active” mode. Moving at light speed, the radio signal from New Horizons – currently more than 2.9 billion miles from Earth, and just over 162 million miles from Pluto – needed four hours and 26 minutes to reach NASA’s Deep Space Network station in Canberra, Australia.

This is a watershed event that signals the end of New Horizons crossing of a vast ocean of space to the very frontier of our solar system, and the beginning of the mission’s primary objective: the exploration of Pluto and its many moons in 2015,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colo.
CSIRO BLOG: Waking up to new horizons

I guess we all love to sleep in on a Sunday morning, maybe just snoozing under the doona, laying there for a few hours before getting up for a late brunch. Ah! Luxury.

On Sunday 7th December 2014, the New Horizons spacecraft, 5 billion kilometres away from the warmth of Earth, had little time to sleep in. It was ‘wake up’ day. The final awakening from hibernation for the next 2 years until well after its encounter with rapidly approaching dwarf planet, Pluto, set for the 14th July 2015.
Waiting back on Earth to hear the spacecraft’s morning ‘alarm’ go off was the giant 70 metre antenna dish at the CSIRO-managed, Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex – Deep Space Station 43 (DSS43).
Image: CDSCC/CSIRO


Covering a distance of nearly 4.8 billion kilometres, New Horizons signal was travelling through space at the speed of light, telling home that it had awoken from final hibernation...
The spacecraft’s transmission was received 4 hours and 26 minutes later at DSS43, with NASA confirming, at 1.53pm (AEDT), the news that the New Horizons team wanted to hear, “It’s Alive!".

"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:06 pm

Orin

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:00 pm


Click to play embedded YouTube video.
FM14 New Horizons on Pluto’s doorstep PressWorkshop

American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Published on 18 Dec 2014
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Tue Dec 23, 2014 12:35 pm

Orin

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New Horizons Begins First Stages of Pluto Encounter

Post by bystander » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:45 pm

New Horizons Begins First Stages of Pluto Encounter
NASA | SwRI | JHU-APL | 2015 Jan 15
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has begun its long-awaited, historic encounter with Pluto, entering the first of several approach phases that will culminate with the first close-up flyby of the Pluto system six months from now.

“NASA’s first mission to distant Pluto will also be humankind’s first close up view of this cold, unexplored world in our solar system,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters, Washington. “The New Horizons team worked very hard to prepare for this first phase, and they did it flawlessly.”

New Horizons launched in January 2006 and, after a voyage of more than 3 billion miles, will soar close to Pluto, inside the orbits of its five known moons, this July 14. The fastest spacecraft ever launched, New Horizons awoke from its final hibernation period in early December. Since then, the mission’s science, engineering and spacecraft operations teams have configured the piano-sized probe for distant observations of the Pluto system, starting with a long-range photo shoot that begins Jan. 25. ...
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:32 pm

The new edition of Astronomy has a story on Pluto and the New Horizon's mission.
http://www.astronomy.com/issues/2015/february-2015
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by geckzilla » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:42 am

Posting this here so I can remember to compare it to real Pluto images when New Horizons does its flyby. Depending on how similar the model is with the real Pluto, I may be very surprised... Astonished, even. I'm guessing it's way off, though.

http://phl.upr.edu/library/notes/serfirstlookatpluto
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:45 pm

Trailing Trojan close to New Horizons!
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-bl ... anion.html

ImageImage
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:12 pm

Orin

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Planetary Society: Talking to Pluto is hard!

Post by MargaritaMc » Sat Jan 31, 2015 1:21 pm

Planetary Society Blog:Talking to Pluto is hard! Why it takes so long to get data back from New Horizons
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla

2015/01/30 15:53 UTC
As I write this post, New Horizons is nearing the end of a weeklong optical navigation campaign. By taking photos of the Pluto system at regular intervals, New Horizons' navigators can precisely measure the observed positions of Pluto and its moons with respect to background stars, and determine the spacecraft's position. The last optical navigation images in the weeklong series will be taken tomorrow, but it will likely take two weeks or more for all the data to get to Earth. Two weeks! Why does it take so long? It's not like it's all that much data: 10 full-resolution LORRI images per day.

The short answer to that question is: Pluto is far away -- very far away, more than 30 times Earth's distance from the Sun -- so New Horizons' radio signal is weak. Weak signal means low data rates: at the moment, New Horizons can transmit at most 1 kilobit per second. (Note that spacecraft communications are typically measured in bits, not bytes; 1 kilobit is only 125 bytes.) Even at these low data rates, only the Deep Space Network's very largest, 70-meter dishes can detect New Horizons' faint signal.
...
The rest of the blog post is fascinating

Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by BMAONE23 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:43 pm

Hope it has an enormous amount of memory space so we can see all the Pluto encounter images even if they aren't received until the timing of the first KBO encounter

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Re: Planetary Society: Talking to Pluto is hard!

Post by BDanielMayfield » Sat Jan 31, 2015 5:56 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
The rest of the blog post is fascinating

Margarita
Yes, nice article, but this means that even during the exciting flyby of Pluto the return is going to be soooo sloooooooow. Those sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for new photos are going to get sore bums mum.

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New Horizons Returns New Images of Pluto

Post by bystander » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:43 am

NASA Spacecraft Returns New Images of Pluto En Route to Historic Encounter
NASA | JHU-APL | SwRI | New Horizons | 2015 Feb 04
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft returned its first new images of Pluto on Wednesday, as the probe closes in on the dwarf planet. Although still just a dot along with its largest moon, Charon, the images come on the 109th birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the distant icy world in 1930. ...

New Horizons was more than 126 million miles (nearly 203 million kilometers) away from Pluto when it began taking images. The new images, taken with New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, are the first acquired during the spacecraft’s 2015 approach to the Pluto system, which culminates with a close flyby of Pluto and its moons on July 14. ...

Over the next few months, LORRI will take hundreds of pictures of Pluto, against a starry backdrop, to refine the team’s estimates of New Horizons’ distance to Pluto. As in these first images, the Pluto system will resemble little more than bright dots in the camera’s view until late spring. However, mission navigators can still use such images to design course-correcting engine maneuvers to direct the spacecraft for a more precise approach. The first such maneuver based on these optical navigation images, or OpNavs, is scheduled for March 10. ...

Closing in on Pluto at about 31,000 mph, New Horizons already has covered more than 3 billion miles since it launched on Jan. 19, 2006. Its journey has taken it past each planet’s orbit, from Mars to Neptune, in record time, and it is now in the first stage of an encounter with Pluto that includes long-distance imaging as well as dust, energetic particle and solar wind measurements to characterize the space environment near Pluto. ...

New Horizons Returns New Images of Pluto
JHU-APL | New Horizons | 2015 Feb 04
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Re: New Horizons Returns New Images of Pluto

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:19 pm

bystander wrote:NASA Spacecraft Returns New Images of Pluto En Route to Historic Encounter
NASA | JHU-APL | SwRI | New Horizons | 2015 Feb 04
NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft returned its first new images of Pluto on Wednesday, as the probe closes in on the dwarf planet. Although still just a dot along with its largest moon, Charon, the images come on the 109th birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the distant icy world in 1930. ...

New Horizons was more than 126 million miles (nearly 203 million kilometers) away from Pluto when it began taking images. The new images, taken with New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, are the first acquired during the spacecraft’s 2015 approach to the Pluto system, which culminates with a close flyby of Pluto and its moons on July 14. ...

Over the next few months, LORRI will take hundreds of pictures of Pluto, against a starry backdrop, to refine the team’s estimates of New Horizons’ distance to Pluto. As in these first images, the Pluto system will resemble little more than bright dots in the camera’s view until late spring. However, mission navigators can still use such images to design course-correcting engine maneuvers to direct the spacecraft for a more precise approach. The first such maneuver based on these optical navigation images, or OpNavs, is scheduled for March 10. ...

Closing in on Pluto at about 31,000 mph, New Horizons already has covered more than 3 billion miles since it launched on Jan. 19, 2006. Its journey has taken it past each planet’s orbit, from Mars to Neptune, in record time, and it is now in the first stage of an encounter with Pluto that includes long-distance imaging as well as dust, energetic particle and solar wind measurements to characterize the space environment near Pluto. ...
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:16 pm

There's a nice article in EarthSky with an animated gif of Pluto and Charon.
Hello, Pluto! New images from New Horizon
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by saturno2 » Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:47 pm

Speed of New Horizons now
aprox. 8.6 km / sec

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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by bystander » Tue Feb 17, 2015 7:34 pm

Pluto / Charon Wobbly Dance Proves It's A Double Planet
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by bystander » Thu Feb 19, 2015 12:31 am

85 Years after Pluto's Discovery, NASA's New Horizons Spots Small Moons Orbiting Pluto
NASA | Solar System Exploration | 2015 Feb 18
[attachment=0]nh_02-18-15[1].png[/attachment]
Exactly 85 years after Clyde Tombaugh's historic discovery of Pluto, the NASA spacecraft set to encounter the icy dwarf planet this summer is providing its first views of the small moons orbiting Pluto.

he moons Nix and Hydra are visible in a series of images taken by the New Horizons spacecraft from Jan. 27-Feb. 8, at distances ranging from about 125 million to 115 million miles (201 million to 186 million kilometers). The long-exposure images offer New Horizons' best view yet of these two small moons circling Pluto which Tombaugh discovered at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Feb. 18, 1930. ...

Assembled into a seven-frame movie, the new images provide the spacecraft's first extended look at Hydra (identified by a yellow diamond ) and its first-ever view of Nix (orange diamond). The right-hand image set has been specially processed to make the small moons easier to see.

These are the first of a series of long-exposure images that will continue through early March, with the purpose of refining the team's knowledge of the moons' orbits. Each frame is a combination of five 10-second images, taken with New Horizons' Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) using a special mode that combines pixels to increase sensitivity at the expense of resolution. At left, Nix and Hydra are just visible against the glare of Pluto and its large moon Charon, and the dense field of background stars. The bright and dark streak extending to the right of Pluto is an artifact of the camera electronics, resulting from the overexposure of Pluto and Charon. As can be seen in the movie, the spacecraft and camera were rotated in some of the images to change the direction of this streak, in order to prevent it from obscuring the two moons. ...
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:03 pm

Attempt at picking image motion!
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Post by orin stepanek » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:03 am

Orin

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SETI: Public Asked to Help Name Features on Pluto

Post by bystander » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:58 pm

Public Asked to Help Name Features on Pluto
SETI Institute | 2015 Mar 20

On July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will fly past Pluto, offering the first close-up look at that small, distant world and its largest moon, Charon. These denizens of the outer solar system will be transformed from poorly seen, hazy bodies to tangible worlds with distinct features.

Now, the public can help decide what labels will go on the images and maps coming from the flyby. The SETI Institute has announced the launch of its “Our Pluto” campaign, which is soliciting input on how to name features on the surfaces of Pluto and Charon. ...

Our Pluto Voter's Guide

Campaign for Public Participation in Naming Features on Pluto
International Astronomical Union | 2015 Mar 24
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