As I write this, the latest image in the NASA's New Horizon's image gallery is this spectacular photo showing Pluto's atmosphere:

Pluto’s Breathtaking Farewell to New Horizons

The full web page for the image is here.

That image was posted several weeks ago. Why have there been no new ones since then?

I understand that the data rate is vvveeerrryyy ssslllooowww, and that we won't get all the flyby data until some time in 2016. But just after the flyby, we were getting a few new images once a week or so. Why haven't we been seeing updates at the same rate since then? Or is it just that web page that hasn't been updated lately?

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    $\begingroup$ A friend of mine "looked on the New Horizons page and read some of the comment streams. There was mention that there may not be any new photos or data released until September." Posting as a comment because I can't verify. $\endgroup$ Aug 15, 2015 at 1:40
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    $\begingroup$ According to this announcement from NASA, high-speed data downloading begins Saturday September 5. New high-resolution images should be posted starting Friday, September 11. Whoo hoo! $\endgroup$ Sep 5, 2015 at 2:37

1 Answer 1


Organic Marble is correct in the comment, New Horizons is now busy with Departure Phase (DP2 from Aug 5-Oct 22) science and transmitting plasma and dust data, and no additional images will be transmitted until September 14 when Science Data Playback phase starts. All images from New Horizons Press Conferences Materials:

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Image sources: (1): Alan Stern, New Horizons PI, (2 & 3): Cathy Olkin, New Horizons Deputy project scientist. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute.

  • $\begingroup$ They say " On September 14, New Horizons will begin downlinking a "browse" version of the entire Pluto data set, in which all images will be lossily compressed. It will take about 10 weeks to get that data set to the ground. There will be compression artifacts, but we'll see the entire data set. Then, around November 16, New Horizons will begin to downlink the entire science data set losslessly compressed. It will take a year to complete that process." And what exactly is New Horizons downlinking during that time? Is there any more data other than images? $\endgroup$
    – rubo77
    Aug 25, 2015 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ @rubo77 Yes, that's all in the slides. Including what else is there besides images. $\endgroup$
    – TildalWave
    Aug 25, 2015 at 4:03

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