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Archive for the ‘Pluto’ Category

Today marks one year since the passing of our Pluto:

Above: Pluto with Mom and my great nieces and nephews, in a moment of perfect sweetness, just one hour before he died.

I find it appropriate and touching that the third anniversary of Pluto’s passing will be marked by a different kind of passing of a different kind of Pluto. Two years from now, barring some space disaster, the New Horizons spacecraft will be entering the vicinity of the (currently classified as) dwarf planet Pluto after 7 1/2 years of swift travel. The spacecraft will make its closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015. As a way of dramatizing and building anticipation for this momentous event, here’s a series of simulated images generated via one of my favorite online utilities, the NASA-JPL Solar System Simulator:

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Above: Today Pluto remains a tiny dot as viewed from the spacecraft.

Below: The next six images dramatize New Horizons’ final approach during July 12-14, 2015. The elliptical path represents the orbit of Charon, Pluto’s largest moon:
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Seven images above Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech. Click to enlarge.

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