09/29/2015 – Ephemeris – New Horizons is now downloading some really cool pictures to Earth
Ephemeris for Tuesday, September 29th. The Sun will rise at 7:38. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 7:27. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 8:38 this evening.
Two and a half months ago the New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto, spending the day incommunicado, not wasting any time sending anything back to the Earth. Starting the next day came the flood of data including some highly compressed images. Starting Labor Day weekend the high-resolution, uncompressed images started to come down at one to two thousand bits per second. At that rate a 4 megapixel monochromatic image might take 36 hours to download. Now every Thursday or Friday the New Horizons Team puts several new processed images on the NASA and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory websites, along with explanations of what is in the images and the questions they raise.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
I’ll be exploring this and the other amazing photos and other results from New Horizons this Friday at the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society meeting at 8 p.m. at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory south of Traverse City on Birmley Road.