And finally it’s July 14 2015. The New Horizons Pluto fly-by happens today!
After we receive its last approach image at about 5:30pm* AEST New Horizons turns towards Pluto and will be out of touch for many hours. Closest approach occurs at 9:50pm AEST but the spacecraft is busy observing Pluto and its moons then. It wont be until about 11am* on Wednesday July 15 that we receive the first data from the close encounter.
There are numerous places on the web to keep in touch with what is going on. Here are just some of them…
Watch the National Geographic Channel live stream.
[iframe src=”http://www.ustream.tv/embed/6540154?v=3&wmode=direct” width=”480″ height=”302″]
See the NASA New Horizons homepage …
for a map showing New Horizons present location,
and a detailed Event Timeline of all the spacecraft imaging and science activities (Note the times are in US east coast times, add 14-hrs to get EAST)
and the Latest News and Images
Watch the NASA TV stream. The flyby stream begins at 9:30pm AEST and the first data from the closest encounter should arrive around 11am on Jul 15 AEST)
For Australia’s contribution check out when the Canberra/Tidbinbilla DSN dishes are communicating with New Horizons.
And lastly the Google Doodle shows New Horizons passing Pluto complete with the ‘heart’ feature.
*I have to admit I am having trouble deciphering all the timings! While I’m sure closest approach happens when it is 9:50pm AEST the other timings are complicated by conversions between EDT (USA east coast daylight saving time), UT (essentially GMT), AEST (Eastern Australia Standard Time) and the almost 4.5 hours it takes the signal to reach Earth. Not all my sources are clear about which time they are quoting.