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New Horizons: Pre-launch, launch and main cruise, Pluto and the Kuiper belt
odave
post Nov 2 2006, 02:50 PM
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Nice, beefy update. Thanks for doing these Alan, they are really appreciated!

Trajectory:

...we got a formal solution telling us we should make a mid-December course correction of about 0.4 meters/second (0.9 miles/hour)...the error induced by skipping this maneuver will be small only about 870 kilometers (550 miles) at Jupiter...we're on a bulls-eye course with a predicted error of 0.035%

Yowza! Pretty sweet touch on the steering wheel, guys smile.gif

Jupiter Science:

we recently found ourselves on too tight of a schedule to get everything planned, built, tested, and ready for uplink to New Horizons. So last week, as mission PI, I opted for us to go light on distant observations beginning in January and early February. This meant cutting out almost 2/3 of the originally hoped for observations in January.

That's a bummer, but it sounds like a good call. Better to get the close-in stuff nailed down than lose them. Exciting times!


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Guest_vjkane2000_*
post Nov 2 2006, 03:37 PM
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Something I've wondered about is how powerful New Horizon's LORRI and Ralph cameras are compared to, say Cassini or Galileo's cameras. Some missions list microradian resolution, others focal lengths. Does anyone have a cheat sheet?
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Alan Stern
post Nov 2 2006, 04:59 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Nov 2 2006, 02:04 AM) *
Poor Alan...he sounds pretty overtasked. Glad to see the update, though; thanks, NMRguy! smile.gif



Nprev-- I don't feel overtasked as an individual. I wonder what gave you such an impression?

-Alan
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Toma B
post Nov 2 2006, 05:45 PM
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Alan, did you forgot to add some new image of Jupiter in that update...or there aren't new images?


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Alan Stern
post Nov 2 2006, 06:10 PM
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cool.gif--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Toma B @ Nov 2 2006, 05:45 PM) *</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->
Alan, did you forgot to add some new image of Jupiter in that update...or there aren't new images?
[/quote]


Toma-

I didn't forget! There aren't new Jupiter images. The September set was a test to calibrate Ralph
and LORRI exposure times.

We don't plan any new Jupiter imaging until January, and that will be pretty skimpy. Only in late Feb
and early-March will we be doing intensive imaging, and even then the majority won't be downlinked
until April-May; some things will come down before that to whet people's appetites and to allow us to
gage how we're doing, but the main playback is after C/A phase ends.

-Alan
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nprev
post Nov 2 2006, 10:34 PM
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"You're a better man than me, Gunga Din!" smile.gif Sorry, Alan, just sounded like you barely had a spare moment..obviously, you're in your glory, as you should be! Thanks for the great update...can hardly wait for February...


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john_s
post Nov 2 2006, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (vjkane2000 @ Nov 2 2006, 03:37 PM) *
Something I've wondered about is how powerful New Horizon's LORRI and Ralph cameras are compared to, say Cassini or Galileo's cameras. Some missions list microradian resolution, others focal lengths. Does anyone have a cheat sheet?


Here's a cheat sheet for New Horizons. LORRI has similar resolution per pixel to the Galileo and Cassini narrow-angle cameras, though it's a much simpler, more lightweight design and raw images therefore aren't quite so crisp. They sharpen up nicely with a little post-processing, though.
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Guest_Sunspot_*
post Nov 2 2006, 11:23 PM
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How large will Jupiter appear (in pixels) in the first images to be taken in January? smile.gif
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Alan Stern
post Nov 3 2006, 12:11 PM
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QUOTE (Sunspot @ Nov 2 2006, 11:23 PM) *
How large will Jupiter appear (in pixels) in the first images to be taken in January? smile.gif


~450 pixels across.
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stevesliva
post Nov 28 2006, 04:51 PM
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New Horizons makes first Pluto sighting:
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/112806.php

So LORRI will be used to search for a possible farther-out Kuiper object? That I did not know...
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ustrax
post Nov 28 2006, 05:43 PM
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QUOTE (stevesliva @ Nov 28 2006, 04:51 PM) *
New Horizons makes first Pluto sighting:
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/112806.php

So LORRI will be used to search for a possible farther-out Kuiper object? That I did not know...


I have cropped the image and tried to make a comparison with another Pluto image, somethings fit, somethings don't, no science here folks... wink.gif


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Bjorn Jonsson
post Nov 28 2006, 07:24 PM
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This is absolutely amazing, I never expected NH to image Pluto this early in its mission. Can't wait to see Pluto images in 2015 smile.gif.
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helvick
post Nov 28 2006, 10:59 PM
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Wow.
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John Flushing
post Nov 29 2006, 02:31 AM
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Alan Stern...Do you have any idea as to what Kuiper Belt Object you will visit after the Pluto/Charon flyby?


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hendric
post Nov 29 2006, 03:15 AM
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John,
Alan's team doesn't have a firm destination yet for the probe after Pluto. The volume beyond Pluto where New Horizons could potentially travel is currently in an unfavorable position for detection. See the recent article about NH imaging Pluto? Any potential KBOs NH would visit are in a similar star field, with many faint stars and difficult to detect. Once the volume has moved out of the crowded star field, and some new survey telescopes come on-line, the team expects to find potential targets in the ~50km range. There's some additional detail either here or on the NH website.

Why is everyone so surprised that NH can "see" Pluto? Pluto is visible from pretty modest telescopes here on Earth, and NH doesn't have to deal with any light pollution. Other than being in a crowded star field, Pluto should be a piece of cake for NH. More importantly, when are the Saturn, Neptune and Uranus photos? smile.gif


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