Posted: Dec 08, 2014 12:32 pm
by kennyc
Made of Stars wrote:A very detailed post by Emily Lakdawalla on the flyby by New Horizons, and planned imaging program: ... ience.html

That's a great article.....from the end:


Closest approach to Pluto is on Tuesday, July 14 at 11:50 UT, as time is measured on the spacecraft. During the close encounter, New Horizons will approach to within:

13,700 kilometers of Pluto;
29,500 kilometers of Charon;
22,000 kilometers of Nix; and
77,600 kilometers of Hydra.

At the moment of closest approach, it would take 4 hours 25 minutes for signals to get from Pluto to Earth. However, New Horizons will not be in contact with Earth at that time; it will be pointed at Pluto system targets, feverishly gathering highest-priority science. The first moment that we on Earth will hear from New Horizons after closest approach is not until July 14 at 18:09 PDT / 21:09 EDT / July 15 at 01:09 UTC! That moment is called the "Phone Home" and will essentially be a "beep" indicating that the spacecraft is healthy and still running its science program. The first data from the close approach phase -- including single-frame, black-and-white photos of Pluto, Charon, and Hydra -- will not be received for another 10 hours, on Wednesday, July 15 at about 04:00 PDT / 07:00 EDT / 11:00 UTC on Earth.