New Horizons Mission Update Thread (Part Two)

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Meric

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<p>Thanks MW, I will check out that link as the day continues.</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p align="center"><font color="#993300"><font size="2"><font color="#000000"> </font><em><font color="#000000">Those who never make mistakes, are always led by those who do.</font></em></font></font></p> </div>
 
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CalliArcale

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You may also want to check out New Horizon's Twitter page.&nbsp; The team puts in quick updates frequently, making it feel very live.&nbsp; It's fun to follow along with them.&nbsp;&nbsp; ;-) <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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<p>No News, No milestones....just felt like bumping the thread :)</p><p>Can't forget about our brave little warriors....</p><p><br /><img src="http://sitelife.space.com/ver1.0/Content/images/store/15/13/ef606f7a-4b93-4f52-8dc4-6bb6ef29243e.Medium.jpg" alt="" /></p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font color="#000080"><em><font color="#000000">But the Krell forgot one thing John. Monsters. Monsters from the Id.</font></em> </font></p><p><font color="#000080">I really, really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function</font><font color="#000080"> </font></p> </div>
 
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rybanis

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Go, you little guy, go! <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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brandbll

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<p>It' not too late!&nbsp; Hook a left and head to Neptune!</p> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><font size="3">You wanna talk some jive? I'll talk some jive. I'll talk some jive like you've never heard!</font></p> </div>
 
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MeteorWayne

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http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php

Today, Hew Horizons is 13 AU from Earth, 9 Au from Jupiter, and just over 19 AU from Pluto.

Feb 27, 2009
New Horizons annual checkouts are moving from fall to the summer. So, we start in July instead of September. Planning is already underway
 
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jmilsom

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Hi everyone,

Haven't been around for a while. I am in the very last stages of my PhD and forum life (thankfully!) has fallen by the wayside. Undoubtedly, I'll get back into life here when it is all over. I still get all the NH1 news and I thought this was pretty cool. NH1 has just captured images of Neptune's moon Triton. Check it out:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/031209.php

Heck 982 posts!, I have lost over 2,000 of my posts - has the forum changed again?
 
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3488

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jmilsom":1ouy8kgv said:
Hi everyone,

Haven't been around for a while. I am in the very last stages of my PhD and forum life (thankfully!) has fallen by the wayside. Undoubtedly, I'll get back into life here when it is all over. I still get all the NH1 news and I thought this was pretty cool. NH1 has just captured images of Neptune's moon Triton. Check it out:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/031209.php

Heck 982 posts!, I have lost over 2,000 of my posts - has the forum changed again?
Great stuff jmilsom

You just beat me to it. I literally just found it myself!!!! Pretty cool. There should also be a Uranus observation, with the potential of Titania & Oberon being visible. I will chase that up.

Below Neptune & Triton from New Horizons on: Thursday 16th October 2008.



Andrew Brown.
 
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brandbll

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Question: When NH arrives at Pluto, will it relay its signal back through another satellite or send it's signal back to Earth directly? If directly, is there a good chance some info it sends back could some how be missed by us?
 
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3488

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brandbll":1gce0swu said:
Question: When NH arrives at Pluto, will it relay its signal back through another satellite or send it's signal back to Earth directly? If directly, is there a good chance some info it sends back could some how be missed by us?
Hi Brandon.

New Horizons will communicate with Earth directly, no relay required. Pointing of the HGA will be rehearsed thoroughly. IIRC the width of the signal from NH will be about 2 AU wide from Pluto, but will still be about 15,000 times stronger than the CBR, so reception will not be a problem.

Also the above observation whilst providing some new info on Neptune & Triton, through them being observed at a higher phase angle then is ever possible from Earth, resulting in new lightcurve & spectral data, was also a rehearsal in instrument & HGA pointing.

Don't worry about it. I'm not. Also worth remembering, Voyager 2 did just that at Neptune, the Pluto system encounter will use the same procedure that Voyager 2 used without incident.

Also New Horizons was designed for the Pluto system & the rest of the Kuiper Belt, Voyager 2 was NOT designed for Neptune. Uranus & Neptune were secondary extended mission targets, Jupiter & Saturn were primary. Voyager 2 had to be completely reprogrammed & the instruments totally recalibrated for Uranus & Neptune (owing to lower light levels & greater communicaions delays owing to the vastly greater distances).

With New Horizons there will be none of that. Pluto & Charon ARE the primary targets.

Talking of which, they will be seeable as separate bodies from the New Horizons LORRI camera from this September onwards. Hope we get to see that when that is attempted in the Autumn or Spring if you are south of the equator.

For those interested,

Simulated views of Earth & Neptune from New Horizins on: Thursday 16th October 2008, the date of the Neptune & Triton observation.

Looking back @ Earth.


Neptune.


Andrew Brown.
 
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jmilsom

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Support New Horizons in NASA's mission madness competition - see below:

NASA Mission Madness: Send New Horizons to Round 3

Having cruised past Gemini IV in the tournament opener, New Horizons is locked into a tight battle with STS-1 in the second round of NASA’s “Mission Madness” contest. Today is the last day to vote in the second round, so don’t forget to cast your vote for the first mission to Pluto, and send New Horizons on to Round 3!

There are no limits to the amount of votes you can cast – just a couple of mouse clicks on “New Horizons” in the “Horizon” region bracket will register a vote. Visit the tournament site at http://mission-madness.nasa.gov/mm/bracket.html, and thanks again for supporting New Horizons!
 
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jmilsom

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New Horizons made it into the next round! NH1 fans please keep voting: :)

NASA Mission Madness: Push New Horizons Past Voyager!

New Horizons might never pass the Voyagers in space, but you can send it past the solar system legends in NASA's Mission Madness tournament! Having bested Gemini IV and STS-1 in the first two rounds, New Horizons holds a tight lead in its third-round match with Voyager 1 & 2. But there’s no room to relax; be sure to vote today for New Horizons at http://mission-madness.nasa.gov/mm/bracket.html, and send the first mission to Pluto on to NASA's "Elite Eight."

There are no limits to the amount of votes you can cast – just a couple of mouse clicks on “New Horizons” in the “Horizon” region bracket on the lower right side of the page will register your vote. Thanks again for supporting New Horizons!

NASA Mission Madness: http://mission-madness.nasa.gov/mm/bracket.html.
 
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jmilsom

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Woo Hoo! Final 8. Keep voting fellow plutophiles:

NASA Mission Madness: New Horizons among the Elite

Having bumped off the legendary Voyagers in the Sweet 16, New Horizons now finds itself among NASA’s Elite Eight – and the solar system’s own Cinderella is just one win away from the Final Four! The first mission to Pluto is taking on Expedition 16 in the quarterfinals of NASA’s Mission Madness tournament – don’t forget to cast your vote for New Horizons today and tomorrow at http://mission-madness.nasa.gov/mm/bracket.html.

Remember, you can vote as many times as you like. Just a couple of mouse clicks on “New Horizons” in the “Horizon” region bracket on the lower right side of the page will register your vote. Thanks again for supporting New Horizons!
 
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h2ouniverse

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a lost battle

All anti-Science, anti-Space guys are voting for the balloon instead.
 
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3488

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Thanks Jmilsom,

Encounter position of allfour Hadean system bodies.

Nix is very well placed while Hydra is directly opposite.



Andrew Brown.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Target Pluto

Some new information about the destination from ScienceNews:

Clouds in Pluto’s atmosphere may be composed of tiny frozen spherules of nitrogen or carbon monoxide, rather than snowflake-like clumps of tiny particles as previous research had suggested, new analyses suggest.

Information about Pluto’s atmosphere is, like that atmosphere itself, exceedingly thin because no space probes have yet visited there. So most speculations about the dwarf planet’s atmosphere stem from analyses of light passing through that tenuous shroud on the rare occasions when Pluto passes in front of a distant star, says Pascal Rannou, a planetary scientist at the University of Reims in France.

The dwarf planet’s tenuous atmosphere contains suspended particles, not just gas. Previous research suggested that those aerosols are about 200 nanometers across — larger than expected and therefore probably raspberry-like clumps or snowflake-like aggregates of tiny particles that had frozen together when they collided aloft, he notes.

http://www.sciencenews.org/index/generi ... s_verified
 
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3488

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Interesing stuff indeed. Thanks Wayne, Pluto is turning out to be a real oddall. It is wonder that Pluto's atmosphere is dense enough to even hold suspended particles. But then Pluto's surface gravity is only approx 6% of Earth's, or only just over a third of that of our Moon's.

Apaarently the search for further KBOs along New Horizon's route next year, may net ten possible targets, with a possibility of as many as four being encountered, according to Alan Stern.

We'll see.

Apparently New Horizons imaged or was to image Uranus in the distance last year, with the possibilty of the moons Titana & Oberon being visible. Has anybody seen or heard of anything about that? The distant Neptune / Triton observation was released, but not the equivalent Uranus one. I have hunted high & low, but came across nothing.

Perhaps I'll email the New Horizons team.

Andrew Brown.
 
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MeteorWayne

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I haven't seen anything mentioned about it in the Dawn Jounal, Andrew...
 
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MeteorWayne

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Sometime in the next two days, New Horizons will reach the halfway point (distance wise) in it's journey to Pluto, 16.41 AU from the starting point and end point. Here's the close in, overhead, adn sideways views of the path:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/mission/whereis_nh.php

Here's the distance chart (The blue line is distance from earth, it wiggles because eart's orbit moves us closer and further from the launch point during our yearly journey around the sun). Pluto's distance (the red line) is steady because it moves so slowly..the entire mission will consume only 4% of it's "year"



PI's Perspective:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspective.php

However, as New Horizons continues to slow down due to the negative acceleration from the sun's gravity, the time since launch and remaining are quite different.

Time since Launch: 1438 days (3.9 years)

Time to Pluto: 2024 days (5.5 years)
 
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MeteorWayne

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Related info on the Target:

http://www.sciencenews.org/index/generi ... _verified_

Excerpts:

Clouds in Pluto’s atmosphere may be composed of tiny frozen spherules of nitrogen or carbon monoxide, rather than snowflake-like clumps of tiny particles as previous research had suggested, new analyses suggest.

Information about Pluto’s atmosphere is, like that atmosphere itself, exceedingly thin because no space probes have yet visited there. So most speculations about the dwarf planet’s atmosphere stem from analyses of light passing through that tenuous shroud on the rare occasions when Pluto passes in front of a distant star, says Pascal Rannou, a planetary scientist at the University of Reims in France.

The dwarf planet’s tenuous atmosphere contains suspended particles, not just gas. Previous research suggested that those aerosols are about 200 nanometers across — larger than expected and therefore probably raspberry-like clumps or snowflake-like aggregates of tiny particles that had frozen together when they collided aloft, he notes.

But a new model by Rannou and university colleague Georges Durry, reported online and in an upcoming Journal of Geophysical Research–Planets, hints that individual particles in the clouds may simply be single spherical droplets of frozen nitrogen and carbon monoxide.

....snip...

Pluto’s clouds are likely made of material that had sublimed, or evaporated directly from a solid, from the dark and relatively warm areas on the icy surface, says Darrell Strobel, a physicist at Johns Hopkins University . When that gas drifted into cooler areas, it condensed and refroze into particles, some of which were small enough to stay aloft as icy clouds or fog.
 
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MeteorWayne

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December 29, 2009
New Horizons Crosses a Threshold: Closer to Pluto than Earth

The new year approaches with New Horizons zooming past another milestone: the NASA spacecraft is now closer to target planet Pluto than its home planet, Earth.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20091229.php

“This is the first of several milestones over the next 10 months that mark the halfway points in our journey to the solar system’s frontier, where Pluto lies. We on the mission team know we will have a long way to go, but are proud to have brought the spacecraft to this important mile marker in our journey across the entirety of our solar system,” says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute.

.........................

Nearly four years after lifting off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Jan. 19, 2006, the speedy probe is now approximately 1.527 billion miles (2.463 billion kilometers) from Earth – and 1.526 billion miles (nearly 2.462 billion kilometers) from the Pluto system. The spacecraft is just a little past halfway between the orbits of giant planets Saturn and Uranus, getting closer to Pluto at the rate of about 750,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers) per day. But closest approach to Pluto is still just over 5½ years away, on July 14, 2015.

 
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3488

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Quite an update Wayne.

Apparently Pluto & Charon should have been seperable from the LORRI camera from August 2009. WOnder if they have tried to obtain that since then?

Position of New Horizons as seen from Earth. Tuesday 29th December @ 23:20 HRS UTC.


Looking back at Earth from New Horizons. Tuesday 29th December @ 23:20 HRS UTC.


Position of Pluto as seen from New Horizons. Tuesday 29th December @ 23:20 HRS UTC.


Andrew Brown.
 
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MeteorWayne

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http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00002313/


This morning, a major topic was the search for Kuiper belt object (KBO) targets. [New Horizons is planned to encounter at least one and as many as three small Kuiper belt objects following its Pluto encounter, but the ones it will encounter might not have been discovered yet. --ESL] There is only one known KBO currently being considered. It has a radius of about 30 kilometers and is magnitude 25.3. The problem in finding targets is that Pluto is passing through the galactic plane, meaning that the background star fields are extremely dense. Searchers are using the Subaru telescope to look for objects against the dark nebulae that block out many of these stars, but it is difficult to track the objects they find once they are no longer in front of the dark nebulae. Right now they are using Subaru's "Suprime" array of 10 CCDs for their search. By the end of the year, a new camera, "Hyper-Suprime," should be available. It has an array of 116 CCDs, each of which covers the same area as the individual CCDs in the original Suprime. This will help to quickly search much more sky (and take images that are a whopping 2 gigabytes each). Unfortunately they did not provide the specific field of view of these instruments.

Meanwhile, another team is looking for KBO targets and is using the dense star fields to its advantage, using the Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensors to look for occultations and then trying to recover any occulting objects. They have already had one success, but it is 14 degrees out of the ecliptic.
 
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