Jul
16
2015

Pushing into New Horizons

This week, humanity experienced a truly unprecedented opportunity. 10 years into it's journey, the NASA space probe New Horizons reached it's closest point of approach to the dwarf planet of Pluto. The probe went dark for the better part of a day so it could save all it's computing power to take measurements and pictures. It's wonderful that it did, as the data we are now getting back will teach us more about the largest object in the Kuiper belt in the next year than we learned in the century previous.

To give you some perspective of how amazing this is, imagine two photons leaving the sun simultaneously. The first would reach the Earth in about 8.25 minutes. The second photon would need to travel on average 330 minutes to Pluto. New Horizons was launched from Earth a decade ago, with sufficient precision to send back this:

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Amazing, right! The news has been all over social media the past few days, but it seemed to be an event worth repeating and giving a signal boost. I hope y'all are as exited as I am for our exploration of the final frontier. See you next week!

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