On the way to Pluto at last!

We are the Borg.
swellman
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Post by swellman »

Only 148 days to Saturn's orbit!
New Horizons' next checkpoint comes on June 8, 2008, when it passes the orbit of Saturn.
Bummer it won't pass anywhere near Saturn itself.
swellman
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Post by swellman »

New Horizons distance from Earth now > 9 AU.

It will pass Saturn's orbit in about 6 weeks. More here.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

SamanthaMc wrote:Back on track....and you want to know where New Horizons is...I think it's just up the street a bit. It's a lot closer than on your map. It's a Baptist church. But I'm surprised you want to go there, Abdul...
New Horizons is one of the leading vendors of business technology training in North America, with branches worldwide.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

I gather that were Cassini sent out at that speed, it wouldn't have been able to end up in orbit around Saturn.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

So what I want to know is how they plan on braking enough to catch more than a momentary glimpse of the pluto system before careening off into the void.
swellman
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Post by swellman »

Today New Horizons zips past Saturn's orbit. Of course Saturn is currently nowhere near that point in space, but a nice milestone to be sure.

It's all very exciting. :D
swellman
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Post by swellman »

From the New Horizon's website:

New Horizons crossed the orbit of Saturn on June 8, 2008. Spinning in stable electronic hibernation, New Horizons reached a distance of 935 million miles (about 1.5 billion kilometers) from the Sun at 10:00 UTC, becoming the first spacecraft to journey beyond Saturn’s orbit since Voyager 2 passed the ringed planet nearly 27 years ago.

Voyager 1 and 2, at the edge of the Sun’s heliosphere some 100 astronomical units away, are the only spacecraft operating farther out than New Horizons.

Only 1013 days until crossing Uranus orbit!



HONK!
swellman
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Post by swellman »

More software trouble for New Horizons:
Of course, spaceflight isn’t as routine as other forms of flight, and that was re-emphasized to us on Monday, July 7, when our weekly beacon check-in revealed that New Horizons was transmitting a “red” (emergency) beacon instead of its familiar “green” (nominal flight) beacon. This told us that the spacecraft had experienced a significant anomaly in the past week. With the help of NASA’s Deep Space Network of tracking stations, our mission operations team immediately swung into action, contacting the spacecraft that evening and downloading telemetry diagnostics the next day. By mid-week our operations team had diagnosed the problem and had devised a recovery strategy. Our main flight computer had unexpectedly reset itself after becoming hung up in a software loop. By Friday, July 11, our operations and engineering teams had assessed this anomaly, determined that it was safe for the spacecraft to re-enter hibernation, and commanded New Horizons to do so.

In the three weeks since, New Horizons has hibernated uneventfully, sending green beacons every Monday while our spacecraft computer engineering team, led by Steve Williams of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, worked to diagnose why our main computer (called “C&DH-1”) had gotten itself hung up. Although this investigation is ongoing, we have held a review board and we are using test versions of the C & DH (Command and Data Handling) system to reproduce the failure here on the ground. I’ll update you on this when we know more.
Much more at the article.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

CPU timed out downloading porn.
swellman
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Post by swellman »

I blame Norton...
swellman
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Post by swellman »

HONK!
En folkefiende
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Post by En folkefiende »

swellman wrote:HONK!
NO HONK
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

<a href="http://xkcd.com/473/"><img src=http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/still_raw.png></a>
swellman
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Post by swellman »

1,000 Days on the Road to Pluto – Time Flies and So Does New Horizons!
It’s hard to believe, but Oct. 15 will be the 1,000th day of flight for New Horizons. And in that time we’ve traveled so far that only four other spacecraft – Pioneers 10 and 11 and Voyagers 1 and 2 – have ventured farther. Can you believe it’s been this long? Sometimes it seems so, but other times, it seems like we just blasted off from Florida on that cool afternoon of Jan. 19, 2006.

...

Presently, we are nearing the halfway point of Annual Checkout 2, which began Sept. 2 and will end on Dec. 16. Following ACO-2, we will hibernate until next summer, when we wake our “sleeping beauty” to conduct the first dress rehearsal of the Pluto encounter. This fast pace of activity has made the time fly since launch, and by this time next year, more than 40 percent of our 9½-year journey will be behind us.

...

During most weeks we post a few brief, one-sentence Web updates on New Horizons activities, or on something you may not know about the Pluto system or the Kuiper Belt. You can see these updates at any time on www.twitter.com/NewHorizons2015 – you also can sign up for your own Twitter account at www.twitter.com and check the box to follow “NewHorizons2015.” so you get updates whenever we post them.
A lot more details in the article, for those so inclined.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

The sun and the moon are planets, the earth is not, and Pluto is a figment.
swellman
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Post by swellman »

The Great Planet Debate meeting, held at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory Aug. 14-16, brought together more than 100 educators and scientists to continue the debate over what is and is not a planet. As a post-meeting press release states, there is still a lot of controversy among scientists – and it seems the only point beyond contention is that there is contention between researchers on Pluto’s status and the status of other dwarf planets. So the debate continues.
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPers ... 10_06_2008




HONK! :twisted:
robinson
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Post by robinson »

I find it amazing that there are an estimated 100,000 other "dwarf planets" out there.
Geni
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Post by Geni »

robinson wrote:I find it amazing that there are an estimated 100,000 other "dwarf planets" out there.
That depends on who is makeing the estimates. Some think there are a fair number of mars sized chuncks of rock out there. Others are less convinced.
robinson
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Post by robinson »

Then we have the Oort cloud. Estimated to contain several trillion individual comet nuclei larger than approximately 1.3 km.

With about 500 billion with absolute magnitudes brighter than 10.9, we are talking about a lot of comets.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

While AA makes noise, I get a cool T-shirt.

<img src=http://www.snorgtees.com/images/ItsOkPl ... lpic_2.jpg>
En folkefiende
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Post by En folkefiende »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:You guys are getting desperate. HONK! 8)

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/3489 ... utoww1.jpg
NOHONK NOHONK.

:p
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

jj wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:You guys are getting desperate. HONK! 8)

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/3489 ... utoww1.jpg
NOHONK NOHONK.

:p
Tee Shirt, tee shirt!
swellman
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Post by swellman »

New Horizons is approaching its 3 year anniversary. Some remarks from the project lead.

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

As the new year takes root, the New Horizons team is about to celebrate the third anniversary of our launch on January 19, 2006.

If you’ve been following our progress on Twitter or just reading posts on our Web site, then you know our spacecraft has covered well over one-third of the distance to Pluto in those three years, putting it now almost half a billion kilometers beyond Saturn. You might also know that since I last wrote here, we’ve completed our 2008 spacecraft and payload checkout, recalibrated our seven scientific instruments, and refined our trajectory knowledge accuracy. We’ve even had a chance to collect cruise science data on the deep-space plasma and dust environment, as well as some scientifically unique imagery to yield photometric phase curves of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.

Since December 16, when we concluded our 3.5-month active period for 2008, our baby has been hibernating again. New Horizons will remain in this low-activity hibernation state until mid-summer, when we’ll roust her for another annual checkout.
swellman
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Post by swellman »

New Horizons covers 1/3 of distance to the planet Pluto

Some cool atmospheric findings discussed as well.
Early last month, scientists published an exciting new scientific result about Pluto’s atmosphere. Using spectra obtained during an August 2008 event when Pluto occulted a star in the sky over South America, a European team led by Emmanuel Lellouch learned that Pluto’s atmospheric methane (CH4) abundance is now about 0.5 percent, somewhat less than previous measurements over a decade ago. (Methane gas was discovered in Pluto’s atmosphere in the 1990s by New Horizons Co-investigator Leslie Young and mission collaborator Jim Elliot.) Why the CH4 abundance is decreasing isn’t known, but it might be related to the onset of atmospheric and surface cooling as Pluto draws away from the Sun.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

Not only isn't it an atmosphere, the service is terrible and the drinks are lousy.


How about Orcus?
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
DrMatt wrote:How about Orcus?
A planet. As is Sedna, Quauor, and of course ERIS!





HONK!

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/3489 ... utoww1.jpg
No, the universe does not revolve around your ass.
hammegk
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Post by hammegk »

DrMatt wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:
DrMatt wrote:How about Orcus?
A planet. As is Sedna, Quauor, and of course ERIS!





HONK!

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/3489 ... utoww1.jpg
No, the universe does not revolve around your ass.
Of course not. It revolves around Ed's ass.
Tiosylanyl
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Post by Tiosylanyl »

hammegk wrote:
DrMatt wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:
DrMatt wrote:How about Orcus?
A planet. As is Sedna, Quauor, and of course ERIS!





HONK!

http://img247.imageshack.us/img247/3489 ... utoww1.jpg
No, the universe does not revolve around your ass.
Of course not. It revolves around Ed's ass.
Beware the black hole at the center.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
DrMatt wrote:No, the universe does not revolve around your ass.
True. So?

However Pluto revolves around the sun. There is a name for this.

A PLANET! :HoppingMad2:
And Sedna and Quaoar and your ass--we get it, you can stop repeating.
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
DrMatt wrote:No, the universe does not revolve around your ass.
True. So?

However Pluto revolves around the sun. There is a name for this.

A PLANET! :HoppingMad2:
Oh, get on with it :!:
DrMatt
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Post by DrMatt »

Abdul Alhazred wrote:Are you bored right now DrMatt? I'm not.

It's Friday. I'm relaxing. Life is good. And Pluto is still a planet. :)
Life is too short for me to get bored.
And you're still putting rote memorization and Disney characters over the spirit of exploration. :P
swellman
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Post by swellman »

DrMatt wrote:
Life is too short for me to get bored.
And you're still putting rote memorization and Disney characters over the spirit of exploration. :P
HONK! :twisted:
Mulebear
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Post by Mulebear »

http://www.planetary.org.uk/
gnome
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Post by gnome »

Anyone need more pickled wieners?
Mulebear
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Post by Mulebear »

Apparently they appropriately removed it from the list, but the photoshop guy wasn't available to edit it out of the image.

Yet.
Mulebear
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Post by Mulebear »

planetary.org.uk wrote:Mercury

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and is the smallest planet in the solar system ever since Pluto got categorized as a dwarf planet.
ed
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Post by ed »

robinson wrote:I find it amazing that there are an estimated 100,000 other "dwarf planets" out there.
Please. Let us be TOPian. The term is "Diametrically Challenged".

Thank you.
ed
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Post by ed »

Pluto is a planet.

Honk
swellman
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Post by swellman »

The New Horizon site has been updated.

Includes a photo of the project bumper sticker:
Vorticity
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Post by Vorticity »

Also, current progress:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPers ... 2009_3.jpg
New Horizons will reach the halfway point between Saturn and Uranus on Tuesday, Sept. 8. That officially puts us in “Uranus space.”