It’s 3 billion miles away (4.7bn km) and has never been seen in detail but now Pluto, at the very edge of the solar system, is on the brink of being revealed in a new light. On Tuesday, July 14, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sweept past the icy dwarf planet and sent back the clearest ever images of it. David Shukman reports.
Google Doodle Celebrates Pluto Flyby by NASA’s New Horizons
Today, July 14, 2015, NASA will make history when its New Horizons spacecraft becomes the first mission ever to fly by Pluto, and the folks at Google are celebrating with an appropriately celebratory Google doodle.
The animated Google Doodle shows the Pluto flyby as New Horizons whips by the dwarf planet at a mind-boggling 31,000 mph (49,889 km/h). Launched in 2006, the New Horizons spacecraft has traveled for more than nine years and across 3 billion miles (4.7 billion kilometers) to reach Pluto.
You can watch NASA’s Pluto flyby webcast on Space.com, beginning at 7:30 a.m. EDT (1130 GMT), which will originate from New Horizons’ mission operations center here at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where more than 1,000 guests, dignitaries and reporters are expected to attend the historic encounter.
According to Google, today’s Pluto flyby doodle is meant to celebrate the unprecedented encounter with Pluto at the edge of the solar system.
“Today’s Doodle was created by Kevin Laughlin in honor of New Horizons’ intrepid voyage to Pluto’s distant corner of the solar system,” Google representatives wrote in a statement. “Celebrate this scientific breakthrough on NASA’s New Horizons YouTube page, where you’ll find videos detailing the extraordinary discoveries the space probe uncovers.”
Already, New Horizons has beamed to Earth spectacular images of Pluto, but those images will be a their best today, when the probe approaches within 7,750 miles (12,500 kilometers) of the dwarf planet and snaps its closest and most detailed views.
Google Doodle ” Pluto Will Send Earth a Love Letter Tomorrow “!
Published on Jul 13, 2015
Tomorrow, (July 14, 2015) when New Horizons makes its historic flyby of Pluto, it will be focusing in on just one face of the dwarf planet.
In this latest photo captured by the space probe’s black-and-white LORRI camera, you can see that face — defined by a large, bright heart-shaped feature — beginning to rotate into view.
Only the top half of the heart is visible on the left side of this image, but come tomorrow, New Horizons will capture the valentine in full.
~~New Horizons Pluto Flyby Google Doodle ~~
~~Published on Jul 13, 2015~~
Google celebrates New Horizons Pluto Flyby Google Doodle on 15th, July 2015
New Horizons Pluto Flyby Google Doodle
After nine years and three billion miles, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will zip past Pluto and its five moons on Tuesday morning. Google celebrates this event with an animated Google Doodle. Thanks to the power of planetary physics you can watch the space probe pass by on your computer right now.
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched on January 19, 2006, as part of NASA’s New Frontiers program.
Built by the Applied Physics Laboratory and the Southwest Research Institute, with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched to study Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt, performing flybys of the Pluto system and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects.
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched on January 19, 2006, as part of NASA’s New Frontiers program. Built by the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute, with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched to study Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt, performing flybys of the Pluto system and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs).
New Horizons is the result of many years of work on missions to send a spacecraft to Pluto, starting in 1990 with Pluto 350, with Alan Stern and Fran Bagenal of the “Pluto Underground“, and in 1992 with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Pluto Fast Flyby; the latter inspired by a USPS stamp that branded Pluto as “Not Yet Explored”.
The ambitious mission aimed to send a lightweight, cost-effective spacecraft to Pluto, later evolving into a Kuiper Belt Object mission named Pluto Kuiper Express. However, because of underwhelming support from NASA and a growing budget, the project was eventually cancelled altogether in 2000.