Kodak moments at Pluto: Help requested
Kodak moments at Pluto: Help requested
Apr 3 2008, 09:54 PM
Joined: 3-December 04
From: Boulder, Colorado, USA
Member No.: 117
We are deep in the process of planning the Pluto encounter (we're doing it now while all the essential people are still on the payroll!), and following the great success of our Jupiter "Kodak moment" program (thanks Hendric!), we are once again soliciting help from UMSF in planning scenic imaging of the Pluto system. Unlike at Jupiter, the only time when bodies in the Pluto system occult each other is within an hour of closest approach, when we'll be too busy for purely scenic imaging, but there may be interesting alignments or other opportunities at other times.
To help find these opportunities, Henry Throop has kindly made available his New Horizons Geometry Visualizer, NHGV, which is the science team's prime geometry planning tool. It's at http://soc.boulder.swri.edu/nhgv . The tool shows the view of selected targets from the spacecraft at any time during the encounter. Below is some more detailed information from Henry.
More information on the New Horizons instrument capabilities is available here.
We'd like inputs by early June if possible- thanks in advance!
I have developed an on-line, graphical tool for planning and visualizing New Horizons observations. This is a web-based, graphical tool which uses SPICE to plot the position of bodies in the sky, and as they pass through the NH FOVs.
The program is online at http://soc.boulder.swri.edu/nhgv .
Features of NHGV (New Horizons Geometry Visualizer) include:
* Integration with NAIF/SPICE, allowing for accurate positions and observing geometries for planets, satellites, and spacecraft
* Integration with HD and Tycho-2 star catalogs, including access to catalog information such as positions, magnitudes, and stellar types
* Light-time corrections for all computations
* FOVs of all New Horizons remote sensing instruments
* Wireframe images showing position grids and surface lighting
* Albedo and surface composition maps
* Display of Jovian aurora and satelite flux footprints
* Lookup of spacecraft orientation and pointing from SPICE C-Kernels
* Output of all data in graphical and table format
* Flexible input and output coordinates, including both J2000 celestial and ecliptic systems
* Cartesian or spherical projection of sky coordinates.
* Simple web interface
* Observations for a single time or a range of times
* Rapid generation of tables of geometric parameters (distance, phase angle, etc.) over a time interval
It can be thought of along the same lines as Dave Seal's DIGIT or Mark Showalter's Jupiter Viewer, although it has advantages over both (e.g., full access to star catalogs; NH FOV's; web-based; ecliptic coordinates; simple one-page interface). Although it was written for NH, it's really a much more general tool than that. Kernels are currently included for Rosetta, Messenger and Cassini, in addition to NH.
It's used by the NH Science Team for planning future observations, and analyzing previous observations. This is essentially an internal tool that is being released externally on a trial basis, for use in planning potential NH observations. Please let me know of any significant problems.
Extensive on-line documentation, examples, and screenshots are available at http://soc.boulder.swri.edu/nhgv/gv_info.php .
Southwest Research Institute
throop at boulder.swri.edu
Apr 4 2008, 12:24 AM
Joined: 8-December 05
From: Los Angeles
Member No.: 602
I don't know if I'm doing this right, nor if the time is appropriate, but this looks interesting from LORRI. Charon goes right behind Pluto & emerges on the other side...good opportunity for atmospheric observations by watching Charon refract?
EDIT: Just noticed that the occultation occurs very near Pluto's poles...an opportunity to study atmospheric dynamics in key regions? We know that a lot of action occurs on Titan in these places.
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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