|rakshas||Date: Saturday, 10-January-2015, 7:01 PM | Message # 1|
-- dragon lord--
Group: untoten mage
|Until now the best photos of Pluto were taken by the Hubble Space Telescope but experts hope those by New Horizons will be better. |
The solar system's mysterious "ninth planet" is set to be revealed as never before.
NASA spacecraft New Horizons is finally drawing close to Pluto almost nine years after setting off on the three-billion-mile journey from Earth.
Pluto is around 3.67 billion miles from the Sun and, when it was discovered in 1930, it was the planet furthest from the solar system's centre.
But in 2006 it was relegated to being a "dwarf planet" in the Kuiper Belt, the group of objects beyond the region of planets such as Earth.
The belt and the Oort Cloud, another band of icy objects that is even further away, are among space's final frontiers and both are thought to be the source of comets.
New Horizons launched on 19 January 2006 and has spent the 1,873 days between then and now "hibernating" to preserve its electrical components.
It had 18 hibernation periods, the most recent ending 162 million miles from Pluto, when the signal telling scientists of its activity took almost five hours to reach Earth.
Read more/Full article/source - http://news.sky.com/story....ar-trip