The Silent Astronomer

A NEW HORIZON FOR PLUTO: A MISSION TO UNDERSTAND THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM

By

John A. Jaksich

Image

New Horizons Instrumentation Packages

Source: Wikipedia

Among Solar System objects, the Pluto/Charon system is among the least understood. The ignorance of the Pluto/Charon system is due in part to its distance from Earth, and as well as its size and eccentricity of its orbit around about the Sun. Understanding the outer solar system is important because this part of the solar system most resembles the early stages of the solar system’s development.

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Trajectory of New Horizons probe

SOURCE: NASA

When the New Horizons spacecraft encounters the Pluto/Charon system in 2015, it will have traveled approximately 33 AU in the shortest time of all the spacecraft to date. The probe will spend approximately 150 earth-days characterizing and measuring the Pluto/Charon system to a much higher level of accuracy than possible from even Hubble…

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  1. Pingback: Is there life on Pluto? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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