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10Jul2015

Earthlings Will Get to See Pluto up Close for the First Time in Five Days

 

This is going to be a “once in a blue moon” moment. You’ll get to witness Pluto up close in just five days and the most exciting thing is that you can watch it live. NASA TV is the best source where you can watch and learn more about the event.

According to sources, ET, which is the New Horizons probe, will be just 7800 miles above Pluto on July 14 at 7:49 a.m. which is less than the distance between New York and Hong Kong.  ET had covered a distance of 3 billion miles in nine years to reach there.

As of today, July 9th, the probe is about 3.5 million miles away from Pluto. Clear, never-seen-before, images of ice-covered, atmosphere-evaporating Pluto are still visible at this distance.

As the probe gets closer to Pluto, we’ll get to see more images with a resolution 500 times higher. They will no more be "little pixelated blobs seen from 3 billion miles away, but real worlds, with complexity and diversity, high definition and in color," the New Horizons project scientist Hal Weaver said in his July 8 daily mission update.

Apart from images, the mission also plans to collect details on the chemical composition of Pluto and its moon, Charon. The probe will gather information on Pluto’s atmosphere, temperature, and pressure that changes depending on how close it gets to the Sun during its orbit with a 248-Earth-years span.

The schedule for the next few days, as the New Horizons probe nears Pluto, is as follows:

  • Scientists will take optical navigation data to ensure that the probe is in its right track to reach the optimal position, time, and lighting conditions to secure the best information from the flyby.
  • On July 13th, NASA TV will be giving updates, images and live briefing at 11:30 a.m. regarding the probe’s journey.
  • On July 14th, the channel will broadcast a live countdown starting at 7:30 a.m. until the probe reaches closest to the planet at 7:49 a.m.  For most of the time on the day, the probe will not communicate with the mission control as it will be busy collecting necessary data about Pluto and its moons.
  • The next day, scientists will start studying the data. Also, more images will be let out to the public.

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