Archive for July 7, 2015

07/07/2015 – Ephemeris – New Horizons will resume science gathering after glitch July 4th.

July 7, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, July 7th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 25 minutes, setting at 9:30.   The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 12:56 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:05.

On July 4th, the New Horizons spacecraft, now one week from is flyby of Pluto, suffered a glitch and went into safe mode.  It, however switched to its backup computer, and is now in contact with the Earth.  Sunday night it was determined that the problem was a timing flaw in a command sequence preparing for Pluto encounter.  Normal spacecraft operations will resume today.  Two way communication time is now nearly 9 hours, almost half a day.  Earth day that is.  New Horizons is approaching Pluto at 31,000 miles an hour.  The spacecraft will have only a few hours to observe Pluto and its moons at their closest next Tuesday.   It’s getting down to crunch time for the little spacecraft.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.


I wrote Tuesday’s program Sunday night before the announcement that the problem with New Horizons was found and the spacecraft would back to normal on Tuesday.  I found that out just before recording the programs, and had to do a quick fix.   With New Horizons problems found, I could write the July 13th program I had planned.  I write and record 5 programs at a time – Tuesday through Monday.

New Horizons

Artist’s rendition credit NASA.