To think that he was able to go from a world where flight was in its infancy to seeing Voyager zoom past Pluto within his lifetime, and now he gets one last look...
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has taken the first true color photograph of Pluto and its largest moon Charon – all while speeding toward the dwarf planet at four kilometres a second (8,950 miles per hour). The pictures were taken from around 115 million kilometres (71 million miles) away and so are somewhat blobby to say the …
"Maybe his remains will drift long enough to out live us all."
As long as the remains, presumably still in the probe, drift far enough from the solar system without hitting anything, they will outlive the Earth; which will be destroyed when the Sun expands into a red giant:
I have to say I'm quite excited about seeing proper pictures of Pluto.
However, to call these the first colour photos of Pluto, while being technically correct, is rather overstating the importance of this very blurry blob with a slight tint.
Let's wait for some decent piccies before getting too excited, shall we?
Nice test for the camera though.
They are not. They are, however, as the subtitle correctly stated, the first truecolour images ever taken: all colour pictures taken before were filter composites, not true-colour. Which makes this a first, though not necessarily a lets-dance-in-the-streets level one.
Just about everything you might possibly want to know about Ralph is here:
or just http://www.boulder.swri.edu/pkb/ to the index for a lot of stuff about the whole mission (apologies to any employers if no work gets done this afternoon!).
Organizers in Las Cruces, NM are trying to have a big celebration when New Horizons finally arrives at Pluto. In the astronomy department here at NMSU, we still use one of Clyde's telescopes for public events. I got to know Clyde before he died and I have never met anyone so fond of crow puns. I thought *I* was bad when it came to puns but he out-did me by a long shot.
"As the probe flies by, the Ralph telescope should be able to pick up ground features on Pluto.."
Well, if one of those features is a representation of the classic 'cock and balls' made out of carefully arranged rocks by the local residents, I for one, wont be in the slightest bit surprised.
Voyager 2 - life cycle was what ... 8 years? going on 40 some now if my memory serves.
Spirit & Opportunity - 90 days --
Somehow I see Spock meeting New Horizons somewhere out around Antares....
Personally - I can't wait for better piccies of Pluto -- I'm kinda curious to see if there is a single space suit down there with one hand raised to the sun.....
(grumpy bugger trying to find a cache file in ambari that doesn't seem to want to let go of an old version stamp)
It is fantastic to see these images come in and a a great testament to engineers who put this together. As someone who throws things around when his code takes more than 10 seconds to compile,. I can't imagine having to wait 9 years to see if the system would work as planned.
Is it just me, but can you see a lighter patch to the bottom left of Pluto? Can't wait for the close-ups
I can also see three other 'blobs' off to the left. Is it possible that these are Pluto's other satellites* (there are apparently four others, and four dark blue areas in this picture), rather than just image artefacts?
*Although the term 'satellite' here is a little iffy, because the centre of mass of the Pluto-Charon system is outside the radius of Pluto, so the both orbit a point in-between.
KSR does have a close match, but the raised hand here is the key.
I don't have good numbers on V2's speed right now but I'm inclined to agree with you on that -- I'm however quite interested in the real numbers for NH's propulsion systems.
I'm reading Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity's Chief Engineer, (my 9 year old bought it for my birthday..... ) -- Its nice to realize that even in my current position I have it easy.......
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