Brisbane South | Logan | Gold Coast | Tweed Heads

Queensland AUSTRALIA | Southern Astronomical Society Inc.

~ The New Horizons spacecraft successfully fly-bys Pluto ~

Noeleen Lowndes - August 8, 2015

On the 14th July, the New Horizon spacecraft successfully flew by Pluto at and incredibly close distance of only 1,250 kilometres and showed us what an amazingly complex world Pluto really is. Those first real images of a reddish coloured planet with a huge icy area in the shape of a heart were just breathtaking…we could even see the likeness of the doggy Pluto in this same region which is now named Tombaugh Regio after Pluto’s discoverer Clyde Tombaugh.

It’s just so hard to get your mind around how an object that’s only the size of a grand piano could travel nearly 6 billion kilometres through the solar system and safely reach its target at the precise time and place nine and a half years later to begin imaging…but that’s what NASA does time and time again with its space exploration…its just incredible!

Remarkably at the time of closest approach you could watch where the spacecraft was by using NASA’s ‘Eyes on Pluto’ app, that is designed for your computer or your mobile device…this app shows you where New Horizons is right now and you’ll find it at: http://eyes.nasa.gov/

Currently, the spacecraft is now many millions of kilometres away from Pluto but its precious cargo of data is still to be delivered to Earth, so expect many more wonderful new discoveries to come over the next 16 months.

How do we get back all this wonderful information back from New Horizons? It’s done by NASA’s Deep Space Network of Radio telescope that are placed strategically around the globe to capture the signal from New Horizons please go to the DST website to find out all about it at: http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/

Congratulations to all the New Horizons team for all your dedication in showing us what this mysterious little planet looks like…and what a spectacular surprise its turned out to be 🙂

Please find below a couple of the stunning images taken during this remarkable flyby, go to the New Horizons website to view more at http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/ and stay tuned for many more new discoveries to be made over the coming year from all the data collected.

If you want to see a stereo image of Pluto please go to the APOD image for the 6th August 2015 at: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150806.html

NASA_NH_Decal_2015NASA-pluto-charon-earth-size

Mosaic NASANASA-charon-inset

NASA.Celebrate

General, NASA, SAS News |

Leave a Reply

CURRENT MOON
©2017 Southern Astronomical Society | ABN 14 693 585 419 | Incorporation Number IA04526
Website Design & Hosting by