Posts Tagged ‘JHAPL’

06/18/2015 – Ephemeris – 26 days to Pluto!

June 18, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, June 18th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 9:31.   The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 10:57 this evening.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 5:56.

I hope everyone’s been following the progress of the New Horizons spacecraft as it nears the Pluto system.  It will reach and pass through the Pluto system on July 14th, only 26 days from now after a journey of 9 years. Now, Pluto is more than a dot in the probe’s cameras, which are used to look for possible hazardous rings of debris, more moons and for navigational purposes.  New Horizons is aimed for a window less than a hundred miles on a side, and a few minutes in time.  All its moves to study Pluto and its moons have been pre-programmed in and actually tested two years ago to make sure everything works.  We will not hear from the spacecraft on encounter day, it will be too busy.

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


New Horizons

Artist conception of the New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

New Horizon's trajectory

New Horizon’s trajectory through the solar system. Credit: NASA/APL.

Encounter Timeline

New Horizons Encounter Timeline. Credit: NASA/JHAPL.

New Horizons at closest approach to Pluto

New Horizons at closest approach to Pluto. Credit: NASA/JHAPL.