Questions tagged [new-horizons]

New Horizons is NASA's space probe launched in early 2006 towards the dwarf planet Pluto as the first spacecraft to fly by and study this Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx, in July 2015. Spacecraft's operational constraints permitting, it will be redirected to study another KBO, preferably a white body (icy plutoid) with its own moon(s) that's close on the path of New Horizon's current trajectory.

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66
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2answers
61k views

When will New Horizons overtake Voyager 1 in distance from the Sun?

Basically, what the title asks. To my understanding, New Horizons is currently the fastest spacecraft that's moving away from the Sun, with arguably only Helios-A and Helios-B possibly faster still, ...
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How was New Horizons able to direct data so precisely back to Earth?

The New Horizons space probe is sending back images of Ultima Thule, 6.4 billion kilometres away. Barring having a very large power to send information back on a very large angle, it seems to me ...
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Why is it hard to take a high quality image of far away objects (like Pluto) using a high-tech space telescope?

Why did NASA send a probe so close to Pluto instead of using a high-tech telescope to capture images of its surface? The Icy Mountains of Pluto. Image credit: New Horizons / Johns Hopkins Applied ...
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Requirements to orbit Pluto

I have seen this question posed often recently, without a satisfactory answer in my opinion: Why won’t New Horizons orbit Pluto? The answers I read are always along this line: too much fuel too ...
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Why no recent information about or photos of Ultima Thule?

It's been two weeks since New Horizons flew past Ultima Thule but the most recent news on the Johns Hopkins site is dated the fourth of January The image gallery has had no new pictures since the ...
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Why doesn't the New Horizons probe fly any nearer than 10,000 km from Pluto?

New Horizons is intended to pass within 10,000 km of Pluto on its flyby on July 14. This will give a maximum resolution on the surface of 50m per pixel. This seems to me a bit of a waste, when it ...
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Why does data transfer rate decrease with distance

I read that the New Horizon's probe will send data to back to Earth at 3000 bits per second by the time it reaches Pluto. I don't understand why a spacecraft has to have a lower data tranfer rate ...
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What's after Pluto for New Horizons?

I have read that the New Horizons probe plans on visiting some other Kuiper-belt objects once it passes Pluto, but not sure which ones. This brings up a few questions: Are there any leading KBO ...
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1answer
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Why have there been no new New Horizons images in the last few weeks?

As I write this, the latest image in the NASA's New Horizon's image gallery is this spectacular photo showing Pluto's atmosphere: The full web page for the image is here. That image was posted ...
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At what approximate distance will the New Horizons spacecraft resolve Pluto better than the Hubble Space Telescope?

As of July 2013, the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) can resolve Pluto and Charon as separate objects. From what I've read, it will still be some time until the spacecraft is ...
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Could New Horizons take a “Pale Blue Dot”-like image this year?

Answers to At what exact time was the Pale Blue Dot image taken? say that the famous image was taken by Voyager 1 on 14-Feb-1990 and it took until May of that year for all the data to be sent back to ...
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What powers New Horizons?

What does New Horizons use to keep itself traveling (so far), while keeping all of its monitoring and communication systems active? I did read that it leveraged force from a gravity sling shot from ...
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New Horizons - How much time will we get to image the Pluto system?

When New Horizons arrives at Pluto next year, how much time will we get to image and explore (measurements, spectra-analysis) the Pluto system? Any ideas if we will see (or be able to count) Pluto's ...
16
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Operating system of New Horizons spacecraft

I've been doing some searching and I can find some technical details about the flight computer of the New Horizons spacecraft. What I've found is: It has a Mongoose-V 32-bit CPU (a radiation hardened ...
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1answer
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Did the Pluto flyby give New Horizons any significant gravitational boost?

Last week New Horizons passed within 14,000 km of the center of Pluto. I assume this will have put New Horizons within the gravitational influence of Pluto. Pluto's average orbital speed is 4.7 km/s....
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How much longer would New Horizons take to reach Pluto without the Jupiter slingshot?

A recent answer by PearsonArtPhoto claims: New Horizons was launched at Solar System Escape Velocity, meaning it could have visited anywhere beyond Earth without stopping. It did visit Jupiter, ...
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What time will news from New Horizons' Arrokoth (2014 MU69) encounter become available to the public?

This is New Years Day and the big day for New Horizons' encounter with Arrokoth! But it doesn't mean there was nice pictures of MU69 on the big LED displays in Time Square at ...
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What is a “Sailboat Island of Stability”?

The New Horizon's team, in response to an announcement of a press conference from the Hubble team, posted some speculations as to what the press conference might be about. On the list includes "Small ...
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Why do the pictures returned from the New Horizons flyby of Pluto lack motion blur?

When using a camera and and not being stable in respect to the target, picture smear occurs. Pluto is 2370 km wide and flyby occurred at speeds ~14 km/s and from distance of ~10,000 km. To put in ...
14
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Why will there not be any images returned after July 20th until September?

I noticed in the New Horizon's release time schedule by Emily Lakdawalla/ Planetary Society that after July 20th, there won't be any data returns from New Horizons until September. Why is there a 2 ...
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Will the Pluto flyby by New Horizons be broadcast online?

Obviously, there is a 4.5 hour time lag so we can't expect live video, but will they have a telecast of some sort showing images as they come in, along with the latest telemetry? Will there be a ...
13
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1answer
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How long have we known Pluto is red?

Recently the New Horizon's satellite has given us some lovely color images of Pluto. When did we first discover that Pluto is red? Secondly, did we suspect its color was red before we were able to ...
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What's after the Kuiper Belt for New Horizons?

NASA has approved the New Horizons mission to 2014MU69 on 1 January 2019 that will require operations at least into 2021 to download the data. However, after that, things get a bit fuzzy - New ...
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How are New Horizons images sent back to Earth?

I'd like to understand how does New Horizons space craft send its data back to Earth, billions miles away from it. I read in a Time article: "Also, at the distance of Pluto, we can only send data ...
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Will New Horizons seek a third target?

New Horizons will fly past the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 in January 2019. This will use 56 m/s of the remaining ∆V budget of 130 m/s (1). The encounter will occur near the inner edge of the belt: ...
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How much faster (or slower) would it be for a new probe to reach Pluto?

New Horizions just reached Pluto after almost a decade in space. That means it was launched with technology that is well over a decade old (when you factor in planning and construction time). If we ...
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Why isn't Pluto a circle on LORRI images?

A Long Distance Look from LORRI images were published recently. Pluto and Charon look like shrunken ovals here: Why is this? Is it due to Pluto and Charon's phases? Is the distance enough to ...
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How close to 2014 MU₆₉ can New Horizons get?

New Horizons is en-route to 2014 MU₆₉, where it is planned to fly by 1 January 2019. Considering fuel and other considerations, how close to 2014 MU₆₉ can it get? (At the time of writing, October ...
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1answer
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Did New Horizons capture enough of Pluto's surface to create its global map?

Given the short amount of time that New Horizons focused on Pluto, did it capture enough of its surface to create a global map of it?
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Will Pluto's atmosphere collapse prior to New Horizon's visiting it?

It is thought that Pluto's atmosphere will freeze as it moves further from the Sun. We know that Pluto was it's closest to the Sun in the 1990's. Is it known if the atmosphere will freeze prior to New ...
11
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1answer
509 views

How long did New Horizons take to upload all of its data from the Jupiter encounter?

It's a pretty well known fact among the regulars of this site that New Horizons will take up to 18 months to completely upload the data from the Pluto encounter. When it was at Jupiter, it was much ...
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1answer
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What causes Pluto's atmosphere to recede/collapse?

An answer to this question sparked my curiosity. Pluto's atmosphere seems to come and go depending on its orbital position and distance from the Sun. If the heat up from coming closer to the Sun ...
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What is the relationship between New Horizons launch and Pluto's loss of Planet status?

According to NASA "New Horizons launched on Jan. 19, 2006" according to Wikipedia this is about the same time Pluto started on the path to loss of planet status. Is it just coincidence that both of ...
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1answer
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Why is New Horizons' data transmission speed so slow compared to Voyager?

New Horizons was said to be able to communicate at ~1kbit/s at Pluto and 38kbit/s at Jupiter. Communication with the spacecraft is via X band. The craft had a communication rate of 38 kbit/s at ...
9
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3answers
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Why does New Horizons point at Earth during its flyby

Watching the New Horizons flyby, I notice that the probe stops probing and points back at Earth for about an hour at a time, right around the closest approach. This happens on one occasion 6 hours ...
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1answer
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Did New Horizons also demonstrate the “Pioneer Anomaly”?

In this short but very helpful answer @MikeH provides a link to this short item published in Nature:"...and farewell to the Pioneer Anomaly" which is well worth reading! It references a Physical ...
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How (the heck) can 2014 MU69's orbit be know well enough for a close flyby by New Horizons?

The object 2014 MU69 is much smaller and dimmer than Pluto. Even as New Horizons approaches, it will be much harder for its 8.2 inch aperture, cooled CCD long range imager LORRI to get a fix on it ...
9
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Explanation of weird values in New Horizons data?

In this answer I computed (methods given later in post) the estimated time, distance, range, and resolution for the science capture for New Horizon's closest approach to Ultima Thule (2014 MU69). ...
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Why can't New Horizons send data and do observations at the same time?

The Voyager probes have a scan platform, which allowed them to point their cameras independently of the orientation of the spacecraft. New Horizons doesn't have a scan platform, so the entire ...
8
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2answers
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Use Pluto's gravitation to reach the next dwarf planet

Why doesn't New Horizons fly by nearer to Pluto so the gravitational pull would slingshot the probe to one of the next dwarf planets in the outer solar system (Eris, Haumea, Makemake,...)? I would ...
8
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1answer
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How tall are Pluto's mountains? Are they the tallest ice features in the Solar System?

The Gizmodo article It Looks Like Pluto Has a Liquid Water Ocean shows a large image of pluto with obliquely lit peaks near both the terminator and the edge of the disk where the topography is really ...
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Can New Horizons be turned into an orbiter for the Pluto system?

If the New Horizons team doesn't find a KBO target for the probe, can they turn it into an orbiter for the Pluto system? I know entering orbit right now would be impossible, but would it be possible ...
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1answer
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New Horizons - Orientation in space

How does the New Horizons probe know it's close to Pluto and turn its science instruments towards Pluto and other targets of its observations during the flyby?
8
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1answer
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Why does Pluto change color?

This article says [Pluto] is about 20% redder than it used to be. Have there been any further articles/Hypotheses on both the cause of the color, and more importantly, the color change? Or do we ...
7
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Why did New Horizons have to be spin-balanced to grams-level precision? (With quarters!)

This story about receiving a roll of Space-Themed Florida State commemorative quarters from the Governor of Florida mentions that the New Horizons spacecraft had to be "spin-balanced" to grams-level ...
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Will New Horizons be able to tell if Pluto is from outside the Solar System?

Will the New Horizons space probe be able to discover whether Pluto is an extra solar body captured by our sun or not?
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1answer
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What angular resolution is expected during New Horizon's flyby of Ultima Thule?

Ultima Thule is thought to be about 20 miles (30 km) across. However, I can't seem to find any information about approach distance or typical image resolution of New Horizons in regards to this second ...
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3answers
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Why do New Horizons and Dawn have such different imagers/cameras aboard?

I asked this in other boards but no one could give me answers. So, can someone tell me: Why can New Horizons (which is older than Dawn) take photos in a way higher resolution than Dawn can (NH: 70m/...
6
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2answers
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Ice Mountains on Pluto

With the recent images from New Horizons, my question is simple. How do we know these mountains are water ice? The linked article doesn't have much detail on how water ice could make 10,000m+ ...
6
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1answer
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Timing shadows from the Kuiper belt! Any news? Did it work?

update 24-Jun-2017: SOFIA Arrives in New Zealand to Observe Southern Skies There are plans to fly SOFIA through another predicted occultation path on July 17. SOFIA is a huge (2.5 meter dia.) infrared ...