New Horizons nears Pluto

The grand exploration continues.
77 million kilometers to go
4 days to “better viewing”
64 days to closest encounter
(ETA: Tue, 14 Jul 2015 11:49:57 UTC)

I tip my hat to GdB who made a complete description of different image sizing codes available, I couldn’t post because it was seen as spam. :lol: :lol: see comment #14

thar she blows . . .

July 9, 2015

sorry forgot how to do the resizing thing, if anyone reminds me I’ll fix it. :red:

I haven’t been able to find a way to resize form within the forum. I usually download the image and resize it in photoshop then host it ( flickr or google account) and link to the resized image there. Its a bit of a pain but the usual in forum methods for resizing didnt work when I tried them here.

Yeah, keep meaning to get photoshop or something comparable.
To think there was a day I had all the latest Adobe programs and a scanner, long time ago. June 15, 2015 - One Month from Pluto: New Horizons on Track, All Clear, and Ready for Action Now within one month of the Pluto flyby, the New Horizons team has executed a course correction, completed updated analyses of hazards near Pluto, and is picking up the pace of science-data collection. June 11, 2015 - Different Faces of Pluto Emerging in New Images from New Horizons The surface of Pluto is becoming better resolved as New Horizons spacecraft speeds closer to its July flight through the Pluto system.

NASA put out a nice documentary about the New Horizon’s mission.
Including the story of Pluto’s discovery and the more recent discovery of the moons, etc.
The dream, the adventure, the promise of discovery…

The Year of Pluto - New Horizons Documentary Brings Humanity Closer to the Edge of the Solar System Published on Jun 12, 2015 New Horizons is the first mission to the Kuiper Belt, a gigantic zone of icy bodies and mysterious small objects orbiting beyond Neptune. This region also is known as the “third" zone of our solar system, beyond the inner rocky planets and outer gas giants. Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Maryland, designed, built and operates the New Horizons spacecraft, and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Year of Pluto - NASA New Horizons is a one hour documentary which takes on the hard science and gives us answers to how the mission came about and why it matters. Interviews with Dr. James Green, John Spencer, Fran Bagenal, Mark Showalter and others share how New Horizons will answer many questions. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Ok CC, at the expense of sounding really dumb what the Hell is that little dot obviously orbiting the big one supposed to be?
Cap’t Jack

Ok CC, at the expense of sounding really dumb what the Hell is that little dot obviously orbiting the big one supposed to be? Cap't Jack
A big moon. At latest count there are five moons orbiting around Pluto. Turns out to be a crowded little neighborhood. On and it's so big that the center of gravity is beyond Pluto so they both wobble a bunch.

Damn! I really gotta keep up here. I’ll confess that I didn’t know that Pluto even had one Moon. My father told me that National Geo has an article about the mission. Definitely going to check it out.
Cap’t Jack

Eight days to go and the New Horizons team got their first scary adrenaline rush.
Hopefully the craft will be OK, and the team will be primed for the intensity of these next few days before the encounter.
Good luck and GO Team N.H.

July 4, 2015 New Horizons Team Responds to Spacecraft Anomaly The New Horizons spacecraft experienced an anomaly this afternoon that led to a loss of communication with Earth. Communication has since been reestablished and the spacecraft is healthy. The mission operations center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, lost contact with the unmanned spacecraft -- now 10 days from arrival at Pluto -- at 1:54 p.m. EDT, and regained communications with New Horizons at 3:15 p.m. EDT, through NASA’s Deep Space Network. During that time the autonomous autopilot on board the spacecraft recognized a problem and – as it’s programmed to do in such a situation – switched from the main to the backup computer. The autopilot placed the spacecraft in “safe mode," and commanded the backup computer to reinitiate communication with Earth. New Horizons then began to transmit telemetry to help engineers diagnose the problem. A New Horizons Anomaly Review Board was convened at 4 p.m. EDT to gather information on the problem and initiate a recovery plan. The team is now working to return New Horizons to its original flight plan. Due to the 9-hour, round trip communication delay that results from operating a spacecraft almost 3 billion miles (4.9 billion kilometers) from Earth, full recovery is expected to take from one to several days; New Horizons will be temporarily unable to collect science data during that time. Status updates will be issued as new information is available.

July 5th

Interesting article on theories about Pluto, which have sadly proven not to be true.]

George Peterson Field was the pen name of Dr. Robert Forward. Safely hidden behind the protective cloak of his nom de plume, the newly minted Ph.D. physicist speculated in a “science fact" article in the December 1962 issue of Galaxy science fiction magazine that Pluto was a gift from a “Galactic Federation."
He began by calculating that a body about the size of Mercury but with six times the mass of Earth would be so dense that it would have to be made of the collapsed matter found only in certain dwarf stars. Such an object could not exist naturally; unrestrained by the massive gravity of a dwarf star, it should have exploded long ago. Therefore, Forward asserted, Pluto must be artificial.
He suggested that Pluto was in fact a “gravity catapult." He wrote that “it would have to be whirling in space like a gigantic, fat smoke ring, constantly turning from inside out." A spacecraft that approached the ring’s center moving in the direction of its spin would be dragged through “under terrific acceleration" and ejected from the other side.

Styx paid a visit to the New Horizons team.]
What do a classic rock band and Pluto’s smallest moon have in common? Answer: they both share the same name.
The popular 70s and 80s rock band Styx met with members of NASA’s New Horizons team today, including the scientist who discovered Styx – Pluto’s faintest moon - in 2012.
The unusual convergence took place at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, mission operations center for New Horizons. The unmanned New Horizons spacecraft is on final approach to Pluto and its moons, just days away from a historic July 14 flyby that will return the first images of the mysterious dwarf planet.

Oh, and since the board software thinks that I’m trying to spam, I have to stick this here and hope that it works. Anyway, New Horizons will be fully operational very soon. It appears to have been a one-time problem.]

The investigation into the anomaly that caused New Horizons to enter “safe mode" on July 4 has concluded that no hardware or software fault occurred on the spacecraft. The underlying cause of the incident was a hard-to-detect timing flaw in the spacecraft command sequence that occurred during an operation to prepare for the close flyby. No similar operations are planned for the remainder of the Pluto encounter.
“I’m pleased that our mission team quickly identified the problem and assured the health of the spacecraft," said Jim Green, NASA’s Director of Planetary Science. “Now – with Pluto in our sights – we’re on the verge of returning to normal operations and going for the gold."

It always amazes me that these guys can trouble shoot a probe from billions of miles away but tech support can’t figure out what’s wrong with my laptop from Pakistan. :wink:

sorry forgot how to do the resizing thing, if anyone reminds me I'll fix it. :red:
So? Here is the code: jump_in_the_pit used to do charming things with bitmaps. I took one of his examples, and played around a little bit. See what beautiful things you can do! width="300px" style="float:centre; border:brown inset 50px; background:pink; padding:10px; margin: 5em 20em 0em 20em;"[/img] Made a complete description here]. width="300px" style="float:centre; border:brown inset 50px; background:pink; padding:10px; margin: 5em 20em 0em 20em;"[/img] Made a complete description here].
Now you're just showing off :lol: Thanks for showing that.
Now you're just showing off :lol: Thanks for showing that.
Hey, A beautiful frame for a beautiful picture! width="400px" style="float:centre; border:brown inset 50px; background:pink; padding:10px; margin: 5em 20em 0em 20em;"[/img] Made a complete description here].
Now you're just showing off :lol: Thanks for showing that. You know what they say, if you got it flaunt it. Love the border like wise thanks GdB ;-)


Five days and counting to New Horizons close encounter with Pluto In the early morning hours of July 8, mission scientists received this new view of Pluto— the most detailed yet returned by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard New Horizons. The image was taken on July 7, when the spacecraft was just under 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) from Pluto, and is the first to be received since the July 4 anomaly that sent the spacecraft into safe mode. Taken from June 27 to July 3 by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on New Horizons, combined with lower-resolution color data from the spacecraft’s Ralph instrument. The center of the map corresponds to the side of Pluto that will be seen close-up during New Horizons’ July 14 flyby. This map of Pluto, made from images taken by the LORRI instrument aboard New Horizons, shows a wide array of bright and dark markings of varying sizes and shapes. Perhaps most intriguing is the fact that all of the darkest material on the surface lies along Pluto’s equator. The color version was created from lower-resolution color data from the spacecraft’s Ralph instrument. This map gives mission scientists an important tool to decipher the complex and intriguing pattern of bright and dark markings on Pluto’s surface. Features from all sides of Pluto can now be seen at a glance and from a consistent perspective, making it much easier to compare their shapes and sizes. The elongated dark area informally known as "the whale," along the equator on the left side of the map, is one of the darkest regions visible to New Horizons. It measures some 1,860 miles (3,000 kilometers) in length. Directly to the right of the whale’s "snout" is the brightest region visible on the planet, which is roughly 990 miles (1,600 kilometers) across. This may be a region where relatively fresh deposits of frost—perhaps including frozen methane, nitrogen and/or carbon monoxide—form a bright coating.