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Where is New Horizons now
ngunn
post Dec 3 2011, 08:10 PM
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How about "hyperbolically"?
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Alan Stern
post Dec 3 2011, 08:20 PM
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QUOTE (Greg Hullender @ Dec 3 2011, 08:44 PM) *
The caption on the picture says Pluto will expand "exponentially" as NH gets near, but I think it'll really only expand linearly as a function of time (if we're talking radius) or geometrically, if we're talking area.

--Greg



Yes, cringe. I proofed the release and images but not their captions. Sigh.
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ngunn
post Dec 3 2011, 08:59 PM
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I honestly don't think it's so bad. The term 'exponentially' has acquired a non-mathematical sense in common parlance, meaning no more than 'at an ever-increasing rate'. Besides, the independent variable is not specified. It doesn't have to be time. It could mean 'The larger Pluto appears the faster that image will be expanding' - which is true, surely. Certainly it will expand a lot more during the second half of the remaining journey than during the first half.
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nprev
post Dec 3 2011, 09:55 PM
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Well put, Nigel; thank you.

I'd say that this particular dead horse has been beaten into an advanced state of decomposition; further blows are unnecessary.

Alan, congratulations to you and the NH team for reaching this milestone! smile.gif


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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ngunn
post Dec 3 2011, 10:58 PM
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The long wait for the Pluto encounter raises interesting questions about the way we respond to events. It will be too slow. . until, suddenly, it's too fast! But then, thankfully, there will be the science in its own good time.
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stevesliva
post Dec 11 2011, 09:13 AM
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QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Sep 25 2010, 07:24 PM) *
We're actively looking for a Neptune Trojan to fly by, but the statistics make it clear we have only a TINY, TINY shot at it.

What we can do is to develop phase curves on one or more, we hope-- now that Scott Shepard is finding Trojans in the L4 cloud we'll actually fly through. Of course, such imaging won't resolve the targets unless we get VERY lucky and have one VERY close to our nominal course, in which case I'd consider spending fuel to make a REAL flyby. But even the phase curve science is unique and we're looking forward to performing it ca. 2013-2015.


From Twitter:
@NewHorizons2015: Did you know that New Horizons is flying right through the L5 Trojan cloud of Neptune ? We're looking luck with a flyby tgt there in 2014.

Too cryptic!
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nprev
post Dec 11 2011, 04:06 PM
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Mmm...I don't read it that way. Seems like a simple, concise (of course, since it's a tweet) repeat of Alan's explanation.

Gotta remember that the Lagrange regions are BIG, and any objects stuck in them basically are doing complex orbits around the L points themselves. So, the odds of NH encountering a Trojan, while non-zero, are definitely not good at all.


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centsworth_II
post Dec 11 2011, 05:39 PM
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The tweet lacks the extreme qualifiers (TINY, TINY shot at it... VERY lucky... VERY close) of the post here. Is that solely because of space requirements or have chances improved to the point that qualifiers in all caps are no longer needed?
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nprev
post Dec 12 2011, 12:34 AM
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tongue.gif ...don't get too hung up on reading the tea leaves, guys. I'm sure Alan will let us know IF (and I think it unlikely in the extreme) there's any shot at all of doing this.


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Explorer1
post Dec 12 2011, 05:08 AM
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Even another APL would be decent, to be perfectly honest.
But hey, that's what the Kuiper Belt phase is for, right? wink.gif
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jasedm
post Aug 4 2014, 10:17 PM
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QUOTE (Alan Stern @ Sep 26 2010, 01:24 AM) *
We're actively looking for a Neptune Trojan to fly by, but the statistics make it clear we have only a TINY, TINY shot at it.

What we can do is to develop phase curves on one or more, we hope-- now that Scott Shepard is finding Trojans in the L4 cloud we'll actually fly through. Of course, such imaging won't resolve the targets unless we get VERY lucky and have one VERY close to our nominal course, in which case I'd consider spending fuel to make a REAL flyby. But even the phase curve science is unique and we're looking forward to performing it ca. 2013-2015.


I wonder if this is now a closed subject? NH is approaching (if not already within) the putative Neptune L4 trojan 'cloud'

IIRC the ground-based (and Hubble) search for suitable KBO targets subsequent to Pluto flyby was hampered by the number of background stars in that area of the sky, and presumably this is also the case for possible Neptune trojans for the same reason. I understand the chances of a fortuitous encounter are minuscule, but are the options still open?

Incidentally, the VBSDC (dust-counter) experiment is I understand in continuous operation - it will be interesting to see if there is an increased hit-rate as Neptune's orbit is approached/crossed.
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Alan Stern
post Aug 4 2014, 10:23 PM
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Correct on both counts! I made the call some time back to give up on possible distant Trojan encounters owing to the many more things that needed to be done, and done well, to be prepared for Pluto. About SDC, we are also very interested in what it will see in L4!
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jasedm
post Aug 5 2014, 10:44 AM
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Thanks Alan, much as I thought - you don't need distractions at this stage I'm sure!
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Alan Stern
post Aug 23 2014, 11:41 AM
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NH crosses Neptune's orbit on Monday, 25 years to the day after Voyager 2 explored that planet. NASA will recognize both events, and look forward to the Pluto encounter beginning in January, with a new conference and pair of panel discussions on Monday. Flyer attached.
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anticitizen2
post Aug 23 2014, 03:50 PM
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Definitely ducking out of work to go to this! Very much looking forward to it.
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