Another complication is that Pluto is a long way from Earth.
Members of the New Horizons science team react to seeing the spacecraft’s last and sharpest image of Pluto before closest approach later in the day, Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.
Thankfully, though, nobody is expecting a serious problem.
NASA’s New Horizons probe flew closer to Pluto than any Earth-craft ever has Tuesday, sending back wonderful photos of the dwarf planet. So far, the trajectory seems clear, but nobody can breathe easy until New Horizons phone home tonight. We’ll feature the best of them on the site. Check back here to see the images as they become available.
Never before has a spacecraft ventured into the Kuiper Belt, and New Horizons has been on its way there for more than nine years.
The probe won’t orbit Pluto and it won’t land.
Pluto has now been discovered on Pluto.
The company’s France-based 3D PLUS unit supplied 4Gbit NAND Flash memory modules for the data recorder that will store pictures of Pluto. “The most exciting discoveries will likely be the ones we don’t anticipate”. It also will study their atmosphere. “Tholin”, which derives from the Greek word for ink, comes to us from Carl Sagan and his coauthor Bishun Khare.
Images relayed from New Horizons shows large, evenly spaced dark spots on the side of Pluto that permanently faces its primary moon Charon.
Rewind to 1930, and Pluto wasn’t even on the solar system map.
But if you missed it, there’s good news.
The result confirms what was already suspected: Pluto is larger than all other known solar system objects beyond the orbit of Neptune.
(AP) – By NASA’s calculations, we’ve made it to Pluto.
Pluto’s newly estimated size means that its density is slightly lower than previously thought, and the fraction of ice in its interior is slightly higher.
Why is that important?
The breakthrough helped advance human understanding of the solar system.
On board the New Horizons are seven sophisticated science instruments and the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930. Scientists will have a lot more to look at and think about in the coming days.
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