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New Horizons late cruise, 500 Millions kms - ~200 million kms
Gerald
post Jul 25 2014, 11:55 AM
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Cleaned (by subtracting several intersects of horizontally displaced versions), cleaned 4x magnified cropped, and slightly enhanced version of the latter:
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The small bulges at Pluto are probably remnants of noise.
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Lucas
post Aug 6 2014, 11:29 AM
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Here is a press release about the radio telescope observations of Pluto & Charon using ALMA:

http://public.nrao.edu/news/pressreleases/alma-pluto

Neat two-frame animation of the orbital motion smile.gif
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lunaitesrock
post Aug 8 2014, 12:52 PM
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Movie of Charon orbiting Pluto from LORRI images covering almost 1 full rotation.
http://www.planetary.org/multimedia/space-...on_2014-07.html
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/news_center/news/20140807.php

Looks like a clock running backwards in time... appropriate for a spacecraft visiting never-before-seen ancient frozen worlds.
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Aldebaran
post Aug 11 2014, 10:47 AM
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By my calculation, an observer on New Horizons will "see" Pluto at an apparent magnitude of 9.01 at the moment. It will brighten to below Mag. 9 by the end of the week with 400 million kilometers to go. (Of course you can't see an object at mag. 9 with the naked eye. It has to be Mag. 6 or less in a dark sky)

I just thought you might like that bit of trivia.
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tolis
post Aug 15 2014, 03:23 PM
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QUOTE (lunaitesrock @ Aug 8 2014, 01:52 PM) *
Movie of Charon orbiting Pluto from LORRI images covering almost 1 full rotation.

Looks like a clock running backwards in time... appropriate for a spacecraft visiting never-before-seen ancient frozen worlds.


It's the 80s all over again. Just like watching Voyagers 1/2 approaching any one of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune and their moons (poetic licence sought here; the Jupiter
flybys took place in 1979).

Not long to wait until instant science time..
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tedstryk
post Aug 15 2014, 05:25 PM
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QUOTE (tolis @ Aug 15 2014, 03:23 PM) *
It's the 80s all over again. Just like watching Voyagers 1/2 approaching any one of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune and their moons (poetic licence sought here; the Jupiter
flybys took place in 1979).

Not long to wait until instant science time..


It really does feel like it! I remember this experience as Voyager and Triton grew larger and larger as Neptune approached (I imagine it was the same for the earlier encounters, but I wasn't old enough to follow). This seems, to tell the truth, a lot like approaching the set of moons from one of the gas giant but without the gas giant.

Edit: This should have read "as Neptune and Triton grew larger and larger as Voyager approached." Doh...


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algorithm
post Aug 15 2014, 06:28 PM
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As I said in another thread, it is probably better to have this kind of encounter later in mankinds exploratory journey, so that we can not only take advantage of the better technology available on board, but also the amazing capabilities of the internet and social media, to engage those who are simply 'interested' as opposed to only those who are directly 'involved'.So that one may become the other. smile.gif
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jasedm
post Sep 1 2014, 09:50 AM
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Reading through the latest 'significant events' page on the Cassini website reveals that Cassini took three ISS optical navigation images of Pluto against background stars last Sunday (24th) to help with ephemeris data in pinning down Pluto's exact position for the New Horizons flyby.

IIRC this was undertaken earlier in the mission, but the data were lost due to a saving event.

It's great to see the co-operation that exists between the teams on various missions. Hopefully it helped!
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ugordan
post Sep 1 2014, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE (jasedm @ Sep 1 2014, 11:50 AM) *
IIRC this was undertaken earlier in the mission, but the data were lost due to a saving event.

There are a couple of sets of Pluto images taken over the years, but I couldn't figure out if Pluto was actually detectable in them and which "dot" among a sea of stars and noise it was.


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jasedm
post Sep 1 2014, 03:08 PM
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The images in question are N00228384, N00228385 and N00228386.
It looks as though Cassini was commanded to 'stare' at Pluto so that background stars move relative to it, rather than vice-versa, as several bright stars move 'S/SW' between the frames. However there's so many cosmic ray hits/hot pixels in there, I can't obviously see the target. (I assume Pluto's position is well-enough known that it occupies the exact centre of the image)

No doubt the engineering team can clean up the images with dark frame subtraction, and pull Pluto out of the noise.

I'm amazed that Cassini's cameras are of use in this regard, given the 4 billion km range to Pluto!
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ugordan
post Sep 1 2014, 03:15 PM
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QUOTE (jasedm @ Sep 1 2014, 05:08 PM) *
The images in question are N00228384, N00228385 and N00228386.

I can find 56 images with target description as "SKY, PLUTO" dating back all the way to 2007, all of them are red and green filter images.

Edit: ahh, you're talking about raw images and the latest observation?


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Bjorn Jonsson
post Sep 1 2014, 04:47 PM
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QUOTE (jasedm @ Sep 1 2014, 03:08 PM) *
(I assume Pluto's position is well-enough known that it occupies the exact centre of the image)


Yes, Pluto's position is well known but there are alsways some pointing errors even though Cassini's pointing is amazingly accurate and stable compared to e.g. Voyager and Galileo. But Pluto should still be close to the image center, very probably within 50 pixels from it.

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Alan Stern
post Sep 1 2014, 05:28 PM
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Debuting today! Pluto Picture of the Day (PPOD): Daily pix from/about New Horizons, Pluto, and more! http://www.boulder.swri.edu/ppod/

Bookmark it if you like it.

-Alan
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jasedm
post Sep 1 2014, 07:08 PM
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Yes, sorry Gordan, I've been looking at the latest three images from last week.

To my knowledge, the effort to aid the New Horizons mission has now involved Hubble, Cassini, Subaru, Magellan and the Canada/France Hawaii telescope. A very heartening collaborative effort to achieve the biggest 'bang for the buck' at Pluto and beyond.
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Alan Stern
post Sep 1 2014, 07:13 PM
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QUOTE (jasedm @ Sep 1 2014, 07:08 PM) *
Yes, sorry Gordan, I've been looking at the latest three images from last week.

To my knowledge, the effort to aid the New Horizons mission has now involved Hubble, Cassini, Subaru, Magellan and the Canada/France Hawaii telescope. A very heartening collaborative effort to achieve the biggest 'bang for the buck' at Pluto and beyond.



And Keck. But Cassini was used for another purpose: astrometry with parallax from 10 AU.
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