New Horizons Probe approaches Pluto

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by lucasisking, Jul 14, 2015.

  1. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    New Horizons is half an hour away from its closest approach to the Dwarf planet Pluto and its moons, after a journey of nearly a decade.

    http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/

    This will be the first time anyone has seen detailed images of the world, first discovered by Clive Tombaugh in 1930, and it's biggest moon Charon. Turns out Pluto is bigger than first thought (hinting at a less dense composition than previously believed) and is now the biggest known object in the Kuiper Belt.

    Don't know about anyone else, but I can't wait to see more images!
     
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  2. simonlewis

    simonlewis
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    Should be exciting, i will definately be watching the news later.
     
  3. Digital Tench

    Digital Tench
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    Must resist Uranus joke.
    Must resist Uranus joke.
    Must resist Uranus joke.
     
  4. Sonic67

    Sonic67
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  5. SteakAndCake

    SteakAndCake
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    First reports indicate that Pluto is red.

    America is scrambling to build a Death Star to liberate the little communist planet.
     
  6. aslird

    aslird
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  7. Inferno

    Inferno
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  8. Philly112

    Philly112
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  9. SteakAndCake

    SteakAndCake
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  10. Philly112

    Philly112
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    I thought it was quite good, actually.
     
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  11. Philly112

    Philly112
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    By the way Lucasisking. That's a great real time site you linked to. This technology is bloody amazing.
     
  12. pandemic

    pandemic
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    Attached a little paper on the telecommunications system design (written back in 2004) for any one who's interested in ultra high frequency comms (or ultra narrow band). Got to say 1Kbps over that distance (2.6-4.6 billion miles) is actually quite impressive and explains the 70 meter dish required to receive the signal.

    couple more related links:
    Talking to Pluto is hard! Why it takes so long to get data back from New Horizons | The Planetary Society
    X band - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     

    Attached Files:

  13. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    I love this stuff and to think it's all unmanned, just programmed-up sophisticated machines which can communicate with Earth over such vast distances.

    Good science.
     
  14. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    Fantastic image. Looks a lot like Triton to me.

    I had to go out over lunch so had Radio 1 news on, waiting with baited breath...

    ...absolute zilch coverage. Not even the briefest mention. It is foolish to expect acknowledgement that humankind (by extension) has just travelled to another frickin' planet*!?

    *dwarf planet
     
  15. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    Hear, hear. The technical achievement of this is almost as mind-blowing as the actual imagery. Absolutely staggering.
     
  16. Philly112

    Philly112
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    I might be one of a few here who really thinks that this type of exploration is incredible. I'd go beyond that, I find it very moving. We are exploring the outermost reaches of what we can really see through a telescope. There is really not much beyond this, other than interstellar exploration.
     
  17. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Just as well the solar system and the paths of the planets are totally predictable (very nearly) which makes the maths and associated programming reliable.

    Even so, a big tick for science.
     
  18. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    I'm with you. Not bad for a bunch of apes! (humanity I mean).
     
  19. Philly112

    Philly112
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    But maybe they covered Rihanna flashing her ass? Or an MP drooling down their Tshirt? You don't seen to understand news I'm afraid.
     
  20. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    I'm surprised the probe can gather enough power from the sun to keep it's various bits of kit working.

    From Pluto the sun must be just a little bright pinprick.
     
  21. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    Celebrity tweets and a football transfer.
     
  22. pandemic

    pandemic
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    It uses a plutonium-238 isotope 10Kilos of the stuff in a radio thermoelectric generator, apparently it started out at 250W of power and now it's at 200W so loses 5% every 4 years.
     
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  23. Philly112

    Philly112
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    It's got a plutonium power source. It's not solar energy.
     
  24. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    Thanks guys - now makes sense. :cool:
     
  25. lucasisking

    lucasisking
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    In fairness to the media, the real news story will be the images which wont get to Earth for another 11 hours. I'll be staying up late then!
     
  26. nacmacfeegle

    nacmacfeegle
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    Love it, I love the scale, the ambition, the foresight. And I'm sure I will love the results.
     
  27. EarthRod

    EarthRod
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    According to NASA, the probe might be 'visiting' a couple primordial debris objects (asteroids) in the Kuiper Belt after the Pluto flyby.

    So it continues - great stuff.
     
  28. Philly112

    Philly112
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    I'm sure the results will be amazing. But you are 100% right. It's the scale, ambition, etc. So many problems within our tiny planet. And yet some people have such vision to explore beyond it. They are the heroes I identify with.
     
  29. reiteration

    reiteration
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  30. safcalibur

    safcalibur
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    Absolutely amazing stuff. I feel so humbled against this mammoth achievement. 10 years flying through our solar system to get to where it is, amazing. If I look at my life in the past 10 years, so much has happened personally and professionally, job changes, promotions, house moves, relationship break ups, marriage, children, deaths of loved ones, I could go on and all the while this probe has been flying towards its destination blissfully unaware of what's been going on back home! Incredible. One of the rare occasions where I feel proud to be a human and all that we can accomplish when we put our minds to it and work together.
     

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