Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Horizon Passes Neptune On To Pluto

NASA's New Horizon has crossed Neptune's orbit on it's way to a 7-14-2015 rendezvous with Pluto.

This puts New Horizon some 2.75 billion (yep, that's billion with a B)  miles from Earth and 2.48 billion miles from Neptune proper.  This milestone has only happened once before when the mark was set by Voyager 2, which accomplished a much closer  fly-by on August 25th of 1989.

Voyager’s visit to Neptune revealed features never seen before.  Such as the Great Dark Spot, a massive storm much like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Voyager also captured clear images of the ice giant’s ring system, too faint to be clearly viewed from Earth.

Considering the historic observations of Voyager 1 and 2, New Horizons' controllers are confident that it is also on a path toward discoveries in the Kuiper Belt.   A realm of icy objects out past the orbit of Neptune.

NASA New Horizon Neptune orbit crossing article HERE + Wikipedia New Horizon 

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