Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




OUTER PLANETS
Fly New Horizons through the Kuiper Belt
by Staff Writers
Boston MA (SPX) Aug 02, 2012


illustration only

A new computer simulation from NASA's New Horizons mission offers a look at the latest objects discovered in the distant Kuiper Belt - from the vantage point of the Pluto-bound spacecraft itself.

Created by Alex Parker, a New Horizons outer solar system science fellow from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., the simulation takes "passengers" by dozens of newly discovered Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) near New Horizons' trajectory to Pluto and beyond.

The objects were found by the New Horizons survey team as well as by members of the public - using the Ice Hunters program - during the ongoing search for a KBO that New Horizons might approach after it flies past Pluto and its moons in July 2015.

"Alex's simulation, based on actual KBOs the New Horizons search team is finding, really brings home what flying through the Kuiper Belt will be like, with many distant and hopefully one or two close- encounters with ancient Kuiper Belt objects in the years after the Pluto system flyby," says New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Scientists are using some of Earth's largest telescopes to search the swath of sky where such an encounter target would be today. It's a difficult search, essentially a hunt for very faint objects slowly moving against regions of the sky thick with stars.

However, search team lead John Spencer, a New Horizons co-investigator from Southwest Research Institute, says the team has developed advanced digital-image processing algorithms for sifting through the data, and has used these tools to discover several KBOs that will fly near the spacecraft - though the objects are not close enough for New Horizons to reach within its projected fuel budget.

Parker's animation shows the flight of the New Horizons spacecraft from 2010 to 2023 through a "cloud" of newly discovered KBOs.

Each object's position and motion has been computed from its best known orbit solution. But since those orbit figures remain relatively uncertain for many of these objects, the exact flyby geometry may change as the team acquires new and better data.

"The hunt for ideal New Horizons encounter targets continues," Parker says, "and we'll update the animation as new Kuiper Belt objects are discovered."

+ Visit the New Horizons Kuiper Belt Fly-Through

+ http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/gallery/videos/podcast.php

.


Related Links
New Horizons at APL
The million outer planets of a star called Sol






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





OUTER PLANETS
Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto
Baltimore MD (SPX) Jul 12, 2012
A team of astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope is reporting the discovery of another moon orbiting the icy dwarf planet Pluto. The moon is estimated to be irregular in shape and 6 to 15 miles across. It is in a 58,000-mile-diameter circular orbit around Pluto that is assumed to be co-planar with the other satellites in the system. "The moons form a series of neatly nested orbits ... read more


OUTER PLANETS
US flags still on the moon, except one: NASA

Another Small Step for Mankind

Russia starts building Moon spaceship, eyes Lunar base

Plans to revisit Moon impeded by financial difficulties

OUTER PLANETS
The fractured features of Ladon basin

Curiosity's Search for Organics

India set to launch Mars mission in 2013

Curiosity's First Daredevil Stunt

OUTER PLANETS
NASA Goddard's Innovation Lab: Creating a Future

Space tourism seen as billion-dollar biz

NASA to Announce New Agreements for Next Phase of Commercial Crew Development

Science fiction comes to life in Italian lab

OUTER PLANETS
China's Long March-5 carrier rocket engine undergoes testing

China to land first moon probe next year

China launches Third satellite in its global data relay network

Looking Forward to Shenzhou 10

OUTER PLANETS
Microgravity Science Glovebox Marks Anniversary with 'Hands' on the Future

Russia Launches Space Freighter to Orbital Station

A Fish Friendly Facility for the ISS

Russian cargo ship manages to dock at ISS on second try

OUTER PLANETS
Boeing Delivers 2nd Intelsat 702MP Satellite to Sea Launch Home Port

The Indian GSAT-10 satellite is prepared for Arianespace's fifth Ariane 5 flight of 2012

Arianespace: 50 successful Ariane 5 launches in a row!

Avanti announces successful launch of its HYLAS 2 Satellite

OUTER PLANETS
RIT Leads Development of Next-generation Infrared Detectors

UCF Discovers Exoplanet Neighbor

Can Astronomers Detect Exoplanet Oceans

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust

OUTER PLANETS
Too cool to follow the law

Lockheed Martin Submits Final Proposal for Air and Missile Defense Radar

Lockheed Martin-ARINC Team Submit Bid for USAF Rapid Deployment Air Traffic Control Radar System

Samsung set to debut new Note phone




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement