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New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto - Daily Updates

Posted July 09, 2015 4:05 PM by Bayes

Pluto in HD

After a hectic week of scrambling which saw New Horizons go into safe-mode, everything appears to be back on track for its historic flyby of Pluto on July 14th. Indeed, the probe has officially begun its heavy lifting, officially entering "encounter phase", working around the clock taking measurements and images of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon.

The most recent image of Pluto released to the public is from 5,000,000 miles away. The image revealed a heart shaped lighter color area on the surface of Pluto (see image). Excitement is building as each new day should reveal ever more detailed images of Pluto's surface. On the 14th, New Horizons will pass within 8000 miles of Pluto, at a speed relative to Pluto of 14.6 km/s. From that point forward it will rush away into the Kuiper Belt.

To follow along with the progress of New Horizons, I recommend the following links:

NASA's New Horizons Page

John Hopkin's New Horizons Page

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#1

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto

07/09/2015 7:36 PM

Too bad it's not February 14th instead of July. That looks like a giant Valentine.

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The Engineer
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#2

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto

07/10/2015 7:26 AM

Location of New Horizons probe - Distance From Earth = 31.86 AU; Distance from Pluto = 0.03 AU; Light Round-Trip Time = 08:49:58 (hr:min:sec); Distance from Sun = 32.87 AU

Latest Image - Pluto and Charon

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#3

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto

07/11/2015 8:17 AM

We are about 3 days from the closest approach and the best images yet are arriving (taken about 4 days from closest approach). Here's the newest. The image is black and white but in real life it would be reddish like the previous ones.

There doesn't appear to be any giant crater, so that feature on the image from a post several days back must have been an image processing effect. However, there does seem to be some interesting features. Could there be some sort of ocean on Pluto? Not water of course (Pluto's surface temp is around -230 Celsius (40 Kelvin)) but some organic chemical in liquid form? What is causing that polygonal feature? Maybe by tomorrow we'll have the answers to these questions as the resolution will be much better. We'll have to see!

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#4

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto - Daily Updates

07/12/2015 8:52 AM

Closing In on Pluto - Two Days From Closest Encounter

This image was taken early on the morning of July 11th. Remember, the images take almost 9 hours to get to us, then NASA has to go through them and work on them before they can be released, thus the 24 hour delay.

Trajectory of Flyby

Here is how New Horizons is expected to fly by Pluto and its surrounding moons. As you can see, it will get quite close, inside the orbits of Pluto's moons (close to Charon's orbit).

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#5

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto - Daily Updates

07/13/2015 4:05 PM

Closing in on Pluto: One Day From Closest Encounter - Mission scientists have found Pluto to be 1,473 miles (2,370) in diameter, somewhat larger than many prior estimates. Images acquired with the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) were used to make this determination. This confirms that Pluto is larger than all other known solar system objects beyond the orbit of Neptune.

More information can be found here

Although bigger than thought, Pluto's diameter is still half as big as Mercury's (3,032 miles), the smallest of the planets. You can imagine then that Pluto's small moons aren't very big at all. Here's how big the diameters of Pluto's small moons Nix and Hydra are compared to the "Earth".

In under 16 hours New Horizons will reach its closest approach to Pluto. Nine hours after that NASA will receive those highest resolution images. That means we (the public) will likely start getting those really great images Wednesday morning. Stay tuned!

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#6

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto - Daily Updates

07/13/2015 8:07 PM

FYI, Here is what Pluto and Charon would look like next to the Earth. They are quite small. Or perhaps more accurately, the Earth is quite big (and quite dense). We are only about 12 hours away from closest approach!

Here is Pluto from a day ago (about 1 million miles away, black and white image):

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#7

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto - Daily Updates

07/14/2015 9:13 AM

Leaving Pluto - An Hour After Closest Encounter

After 3462 days in space, New Horizons has finally reached its closest approach to Pluto! Roughly an hour ago, it got within 7,800 miles of Pluto. Over the past few days and in the next few days, New Horizon will be working nonstop to gather as much data and images as it can.

In about 12 hours it will send that information home (or its signal will arrive home, I'm unclear on this detail). Soon after that we will get our first glimpse of Pluto in HD. To give you an idea of how furiously New Horizons is working right now, here is a sample of its work since midnight (these updates were provided by NASA):

00:06:21-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 383562.38 km away at est. resolution 1.9 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:07:10-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 382887.65 km away at est. resolution 1.9 km/pix.

00:07:59-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 382212.93 km away at est. resolution 1.9 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:08:48-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 381538.21 km away at est. resolution 1.9 km/pix.

00:14:17-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Color from 377007.99 km away at est. resolution 7.5 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:19:07-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Color from 373014.86 km away at est. resolution 7.4 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:22:46-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Kerberos with LORRI from ~360000 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:23:26-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Kerberos with LEISA from ~350000 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:36:05-New Horizons is taking an image of Nix with MVIC Color from 328310.54 km away at est. resolution 6.5 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:39:16-New Horizons is taking 3 images of Nix with LORRI from 325691.61 km away at est. resolution 1.6 km/pix.

00:42:10-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Hydra with LEISA from 373727.08 km away at est. resolution 23 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:50:00-7 hours to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 347,501 km from Pluto!

00:53:26-New Horizons is taking an image of Hydra with MVIC Color from 364560.23 km away at est. resolution 7.2 km/pix.

00:56:13-New Horizons is taking 3 images of Hydra with LORRI from 362297.29 km away at est. resolution 1.8 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:57:03-New Horizons is taking 3 images of Hydra with LORRI from 361619.90 km away at est. resolution 1.8 km/pix.

00:57:53-New Horizons is taking 3 images of Hydra with LORRI from 360942.56 km away at est. resolution 1.8 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

00:58:43-New Horizons is taking 3 images of Hydra with LORRI from 360265.29 km away at est. resolution 1.8 km/pix.

01:02:52-New Horizons is taking 18 spectra of Pluto with Alice from 336873.78 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

01:20:00-New Horizons soon to be communicating with Goldstone 34 m (DSS-26) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

01:35:00-New Horizons soon to be communicating with Goldstone 34 m (DSS-25) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

01:49:41-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 312464.78 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

01:50:00-6 hours to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 297,946 km from Pluto!

01:50:29-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 311803.64 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix.

01:50:00-New Horizons soon to be communicating with Goldstone 34 m (DSS-24) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

01:51:17-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 311142.51 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

01:52:05-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 310481.39 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix.

01:57:59-New Horizons is taking radio uplink data with REX. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

01:58:14-New Horizons is taking radio uplink data with REX. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:05:00-New Horizons soon to be communicating with Goldstone 70 m (DSS-14) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

02:23:04-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 270644.06 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:23:19-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 270437.66 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:28:14-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 266378.70 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:28:30-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 266158.55 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:35:46-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Charon with REX from 274398.00 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:36:02-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Charon with REX from 274177.85 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:44:14-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Charon with REX from 267408.95 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:44:29-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Charon with REX from 267202.61 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:49:08-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Color from 249126.75 km away at est. resolution 4.9 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

02:50:00-5 hours to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 248,411 km from Pluto!

02:53:50-New Horizons is taking 10 spectra of Nix with Alice from 215128.06 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

03:15:00-New Horizons soon to be communicating with Canberra 70 m (DSS-43) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

03:15:00-New Horizons soon to be communicating with Canberra 34 m (DSS-45) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

03:16:00-New Horizons soon to be communicating with Canberra 34 m (DSS-34) http://eyes.nasa.gov/dsn/dsn.html

03:22:05-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Hydra with Alice from 245106.59 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

03:22:47-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Hydra with LEISA from 244554.11 km away at est. resolution 15 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

03:36:05-New Horizons is taking an image of Hydra with MVIC Color from 234084.66 km away at est. resolution 4.6 km/pix.

03:39:28-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Hydra with LORRI from 231430.29 km away at est. resolution 1.1 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

03:40:17-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Hydra with LORRI from 230790.15 km away at est. resolution 1.1 km/pix.

03:41:06-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Hydra with LORRI from 230150.24 km away at est. resolution 1.1 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

03:41:55-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Hydra with LORRI from 229510.56 km away at est. resolution 1.1 km/pix.

03:42:44-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Hydra with LORRI from 228871.11 km away at est. resolution 1.1 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

03:43:33-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Hydra with LORRI from 228231.89 km away at est. resolution 1.1 km/pix.

03:48:56-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 199789.59 km away at est. resolution 12 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

03:50:00-4 hours to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 198,910 km from Pluto!

03:52:41-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Nix with LEISA from 166944.23 km away at est. resolution 10. km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:00:00-New Horizons' track ending with Goldstone 34 m (DSS-26)

04:02:39-New Horizons is taking an image of Nix with MVIC Color from 158804.46 km away at est. resolution 3.1 km/pix.

04:05:11-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Nix with LORRI from 156736.78 km away at est. resolution 0.78 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:05:59-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Nix with LORRI from 156083.94 km away at est. resolution 0.77 km/pix.

04:06:47-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Nix with LORRI from 155431.16 km away at est. resolution 0.77 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:11:06-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 181514.76 km away at est. resolution 11 km/pix.

04:13:51-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 179248.28 km away at est. resolution 0.89 km/pix.

04:14:39-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 178588.97 km away at est. resolution 0.89 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:15:27-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 177929.68 km away at est. resolution 0.88 km/pix.

04:16:15-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 177270.40 km away at est. resolution 0.88 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:17:03-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 176611.14 km away at est. resolution 0.88 km/pix.

04:17:51-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 175951.89 km away at est. resolution 0.87 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:18:39-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 175292.66 km away at est. resolution 0.87 km/pix.

04:19:27-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 174633.44 km away at est. resolution 0.87 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:20:15-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 173974.24 km away at est. resolution 0.86 km/pix.

04:21:03-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 173315.06 km away at est. resolution 0.86 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:21:51-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 172655.89 km away at est. resolution 0.86 km/pix.

04:22:39-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 171996.74 km away at est. resolution 0.85 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:23:27-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 171337.60 km away at est. resolution 0.85 km/pix.

04:24:15-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 170678.48 km away at est. resolution 0.85 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:25:03-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 170019.38 km away at est. resolution 0.84 km/pix.

04:25:51-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 169360.30 km away at est. resolution 0.84 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:26:39-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 168701.23 km away at est. resolution 0.84 km/pix.

04:27:27-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 168042.18 km away at est. resolution 0.83 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:28:15-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 167383.15 km away at est. resolution 0.83 km/pix.

04:29:03-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Pluto with LORRI from 166724.13 km away at est. resolution 0.83 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:29:50-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 166078.87 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:32:31-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 178279.45 km away at est. resolution 0.88 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:33:19-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 177623.82 km away at est. resolution 0.88 km/pix.

04:34:07-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 176968.26 km away at est. resolution 0.88 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:34:55-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 176312.76 km away at est. resolution 0.87 km/pix.

04:35:43-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 175657.33 km away at est. resolution 0.87 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:36:31-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 175001.97 km away at est. resolution 0.87 km/pix.

04:37:19-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 174346.67 km away at est. resolution 0.86 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:38:07-New Horizons is taking 2 images of Charon with LORRI from 173691.45 km away at est. resolution 0.86 km/pix.

04:39:07-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Charon with Alice from 172872.51 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:41:55-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 156127.63 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:42:22-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 155757.12 km away at est. resolution 9.7 km/pix.

04:50:00-3 hours to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 149,473 km from Pluto!

04:55:36-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 144864.84 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

04:55:59-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 144549.43 km away at est. resolution 9.0 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:11:51-New Horizons is taking an image of Nix with MVIC Color from 102629.49 km away at est. resolution 2.0 km/pix.

05:14:42-New Horizons is taking 6 images of Charon with LORRI from 143819.25 km away at est. resolution 0.71 km/pix.

05:15:16-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Charon with LEISA from 143358.25 km away at est. resolution 8.9 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:25:09-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Charon with Alice from 135328.69 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:26:15-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 119669.38 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:26:42-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 119299.90 km away at est. resolution 7.4 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:40:45-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 107772.52 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:41:09-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 107444.60 km away at est. resolution 6.7 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:50:00-2 hours to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 100,194 km from Pluto!

05:57:13-New Horizons is taking 13 images of Nix with LORRI from 66612.933 km away at est. resolution 0.33 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

05:58:10-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Nix with LEISA from 65875.190 km away at est. resolution 4.1 km/pix.

06:10:15-New Horizons is taking 15 images of Pluto with LORRI from 83646.234 km away at est. resolution 0.41 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

06:18:40-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Pan Frame from 76792.463 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

06:19:28-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Pan Frame from 76141.986 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix.

06:20:16-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Pan Frame from 75491.696 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

06:21:04-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Pan Frame from 74841.597 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix.

06:21:52-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Pan Frame from 74191.695 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

06:23:47-New Horizons is taking 12 images of Charon with LORRI from 88389.251 km away at est. resolution 0.44 km/pix.

06:24:37-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Charon with LEISA from 87736.235 km away at est. resolution 5.4 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

06:38:15-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Charon with Alice from 77151.533 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

06:40:11-New Horizons is taking an image of Charon with MVIC Color from 75668.123 km away at est. resolution 1.5 km/pix.

06:40:00-New Horizons' track ending with Goldstone 34 m (DSS-25)06:40:00New Horizons' track ending with Goldstone 34 m (DSS-24)

06:40:00-New Horizons' track ending with Goldstone 70 m (DSS-14)06:40:00New Horizons' track ending with Canberra 70 m (DSS-43)

06:40:00-New Horizons' track ending with Canberra 34 m (DSS-45)06:40:00New Horizons' track ending with Canberra 34 m (DSS-34)

06:43:00-New Horizons is taking 23 images of Pluto with LORRI from 56315.602 km away at est. resolution 0.28 km/pix.

06:45:03-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with LEISA from 55474.326 km away at est. resolution 3.4 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

06:50:00-1 hour to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 51,520 km from Pluto!

07:00:00-50 minutes to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 43,609 km from Pluto!

07:05:05-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 39643.266 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:05:18-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 39475.307 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:05:25-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC Color from 39384.908 km away at est. resolution 0.78 km/pix.

07:10:00-40 minutes to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 35,858 km from Pluto!

07:14:32-New Horizons is taking an image of Nix with MVIC from 22235.744 km away at est. resolution 0.44 km/pix.

07:17:48-New Horizons is taking 70 images of Pluto with LORRI from 30003.890 km away at est. resolution 0.15 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:20:00-30 minutes to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 28,399 km from Pluto!

07:20:16-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC from 28206.280 km away at est. resolution 0.56 km/pix.

07:26:28-New Horizons is taking 130 images of Pluto with LORRI from 23859.780 km away at est. resolution 0.12 km/pix.

07:30:00-20 minutes to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 21,536 km from Pluto!

07:31:05-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC from 20854.035 km away at est. resolution 0.41 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:40:00-10 minutes to #PlutoFlyby Closest Approach. New Horizons is 16,054 km from Pluto!

07:40:57-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 15661.488 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:43:07-New Horizons is taking 67 images of Charon with LORRI from 34200.236 km away at est. resolution 0.17 km/pix.

07:45:29-New Horizons is taking an image of Charon with MVIC from 33245.206 km away at est. resolution 0.66 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:49:57-Closest Approach to Pluto #PlutoFlyBy Go #NASANewHorizons!

07:50:47-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC from 13735.372 km away at est. resolution 0.27 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:53:19-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 13981.327 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:53:34-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 14022.327 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:57:15-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 14947.896 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:57:30-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 15031.013 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:58:17-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 15306.595 km away. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

07:58:30-New Horizons is taking 60 images of Pluto with LORRI from 15386.759 km away at est. resolution 0.076 km/pix.

08:00:41-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC from 16282.704 km away at est. resolution 0.32 km/pix. New Horizons is 31.8 AU from Earth.

08:08:13-New Horizons is taking an image of Pluto with MVIC from 20323.226 km away at est. resolution 0.40 km/pix.

08:14:16-New Horizons Beginning Pluto Occultation Measurements #PlutoFlyBy

08:14:16-New Horizons is taking a spectrum of Pluto with Alice from 24247.777 km away. New Horizons is 31.9 AU from Earth.

08:15:30-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 25094.810 km away. New Horizons is 31.9 AU from Earth.

08:22:18-New Horizons is taking radio reflectance data of Pluto with REX from 29958.281 km away. New Horizons is 31.9 AU from Earth.Next Observation

To see up to the moment New Horizons updates, go here.

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The Engineer
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#8

Re: New Horizons begins Flyby of Pluto - Daily Updates

07/15/2015 9:00 AM

Moving on from Pluto - One day after closest encounter

So New Horizons made a successful flyby of Pluto yesterday around 7:49 am and is now moving on. It still is relatively close and will continue to take data and images of Pluto and its system for the next few weeks. Yesterday it called home to indicate that the flyby was a success, a monumental moment 10 years in the making. Congratulations to NASA and everyone else involved in this historic achievement.

So what now? Well, I'm sure either today or tomorrow images will start being released of Pluto close up. Questions will be answered. More questions will be raised. In other words, science will happen! Anyway, here are a few images. The first just shows where New Horizons roughly is now (you can see it is past Pluto and its moons.

Mission Control celebrating after New Horizons phones home after flyby. Good job NASA!

And finally the defining shot (so far) of Pluto. Pluto has a large crater/debris field that is lighter in color than the rest of the planet and is shaped like a heart. This has of course charmed the world (except for Neil DeGrasse Tyson who inexplicably hates Pluto(JK)) and most of the retweeted and shared pics of Pluto have this feature prominently featured, like the image below. For me, I just want to know how old that feature is. I think Charon has a similar crater. Looks like life on the edge of the solar system can be rough.

Anyway, this will be my last addition/reply to this post. I will, in the near future, post a new blog entry that summarizes what New Horizons has found and what cool images it grabbed on the flyby. Until that comes out, I hope you've enjoyed this as much as I have. As a kid Pluto always captured my imagination. I admit, it's nothing like I pictured (red??), but it's cool that those blank stats in my book of the planets are finally getting filled in (even if it isn't a planet anymore NGT).

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