Home > Ephemeris Program, New Horizons > 07/13/2015 – Ephemeris – New Horizons’ encounter with Pluto just 1 day to go!

07/13/2015 – Ephemeris – New Horizons’ encounter with Pluto just 1 day to go!

July 13, 2015

Ephemeris for Monday, July 13th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 17 minutes, setting at 9:27.   The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:05 tomorrow morning, and tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:10.

The New Horizons spacecraft is hopefully Go for its encounter with Pluto and its moons tomorrow morning (July 14, 2015), and tomorrow New Horizons will be working in radio silence because it will be too busy to turn and relay anything to the Earth.  Tomorrow evening we should get a signal from the spacecraft with engineering data on its survival of the encounter.  Any photographs will be sent starting Wednesday.  Pretty pictures are not the only data to be sent back.  It will take 16 months to get all the data sent back.  A series of highly compressed images will be sent for the next 6 days.  Then other data will be taking priority until September 14th when photographs will again be sent.  We’ll be feasting on the information for quite some time.

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

Addendum

The following images are shown in chronological order as New Horizons approaches Pluto and Charon.  Click on any of these images to enlarge.

Pluto:  July 1, 2, 3

Pluto on three consecutive days: July 2-3 as the Pluto rotates not quite half a rotation. It’s rotation period is 6.4 Earth-days. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

On July 4, the spacecraft went into safe mode.  Imaging resumed on July 8th.

Pluto hearts us

Pluto on July 8th showing its love for us, or it’s just a heart-shaped feature on Pluto’s lower right edge. This is a back & white image colorized by information captured by “Ralph”, a visible and infrared imager. The detail in all these pictures is provided by LORRI the long-range imager. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Annotatie July 10th image

An annotated image from July 10. The rest of the “whale” can be seen impinging on the “heart” in the July 8 image. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Pluto July 11.

Pluto on July 11. Note the four mysterious dark spots along the bottom right of the disk. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Pluto July 12

Pluto image annotated for July 12 (2 days before encounter). The features on the right are intriguing, but we’ll have to wait for the next mission to resolve. New Horizons can’t stop. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

Charon, July 12

The moon Charon on July 12 with some of its features noted. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

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