New Horizons on its way to Pluto

Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)
Credit: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute (JHUAPL/SwRI)

NASA will soon have the first spacecraft ever to visit Pluto arrive soon.  New Horizons will arrive at Pluto on July 14, 2015 and will fly past the dwarf planet in just 2 hours. The New Horizons team has been waiting patiently for many years for this moment as the spacecraft travels through space at over 30,000 miles per hour. New Horizons launched in January 2006, before twitter was even created, and has been heading for its flyby of Pluto for a little more than 9 years.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Recently New Horizons has been taking pictures of Pluto and its multiple moons using its Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and sending back the best pictures we have ever seen of this mysterious dwarf planet. Recently New Horizons began searching for any signs of new moons or any other features of Pluto and has discovered some minor surface markings near the pole of Pluto suggesting some form of polar caps. Along with this search the New Horizons team has been searching for any potential dangers for the spacecraft that they could hopefully avoid

Credit: NASA
Credit: NASA

Before this spacecraft, the only thing we could see of Pluto were blurry pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope since Pluto is so far away and also very small. Once New Horizons reaches its destination it will send back very detailed pictures of this mysterious world.

To learn more about New Horizons you can go to the official New Horizons page: www.pluto.jhuapl.edu

 

 

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