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GOOGLE SEARCH CELEBRATES THE PLUTO FLYBY WITH A DOODLE


JULY 14, TUESDAY ---Google has switched over to an adorable cartoonish illustration showing the spacecraft spinning around the dwarf planet. Google Screengrab Few hours from now, the whole world will be witnessing the first and only planned Pluto flyby in history. Will the New Horizons spacecraft successfully make its long-awaited flyby?
In lieu with this upcoming cosmic journey, Google has switched over to an adorable cartoonish illustration showing the spacecraft spinning around the dwarf planet. The illustration of photo includes the specific "heart geographical feature" captured by the spacecraft. "Today’s Doodle was created by Kevin Laughlin in honor of New Horizons’ intrepid voyage to Pluto’s distant corner of the solar system. Celebrate this scientific breakthrough on NASA’s New Horizons YouTube page, where you’ll find videos detailing the extraordinary discoveries the space probe uncovers," Google said on their blog. According to NASA, New Horizons spacecraft is a thousand-pound space probe the size of a baby grand piano. It can spin through space at 31,000 miles per hour. New Horizons' 3 billion-mile, nine-and-a-half-year journey from Cape Canaveral, Florida, culminates tonight at at 7:49 p.m. (Philippine time). THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: Humanity has visited Pluto for the 1st time, but we're not out of the woods yet —


JULY 14 ---NASA streamed its countdown to the moment New Horizons was scheduled to make its closest pass of the dwarf planet, which you can see on YouTube if you missed it live. At 7:49 a.m. ET on Tuesday, NASA celebrated a monumental moment in history: The space agency's New Horizons spacecraft completed its nearly 10-year mission to Pluto.
New Horizons was the first spacecraft designed for Pluto and, incidentally, is now the first to visit the distant icy world. NASA streamed its countdown to the moment New Horizons was scheduled to make its closest pass of the dwarf planet, which you can see on YouTube if you missed it live. But the New Horizons team isn't out of the woods just yet. At the time of its historic approach to Pluto, New Horizons was too busy collecting information about Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, to send a signal to Earth confirming that everything went smoothly. That crucial message was not expected until 8:53 p.m. ET on Tuesday. "That [message] is going to be a very highly anticipated event because it's going to be sort of putting the cherry on top," Alan Stern, principal investigator for the mission, said Monday in a NASA news briefing. NASA will stream live coverage of the incoming message starting at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Here's the LiveStream feed below:  READ MORE...

ALSO The New Horizons: 1st aircraft to explore Pluto

The New Horizons space probe Mission type Pluto flyby 
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched on 
January 19, 2006, as part of NASA's New Frontiers program. Built by the 
Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute, 
with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched to study 
Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt, performing flybys of the Pluto system 
and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs). New Horizons is the result of 
many years of work on missions to send a spacecraft to Pluto, starting in 1990 
with Pluto 350, with Alan Stern and Fran Bagenal of the "Pluto Underground", 
and in 1992 with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Pluto Fast Flyby; the latter 
inspired by a USPS stamp that branded Pluto as "Not Yet Explored". The 
ambitious mission aimed to send a lightweight, cost-effective spacecraft 
to Pluto, later evolving into a Kuiper Belt Object mission named Pluto Kuiper 
Express. However, because of underwhelming support from NASA and a 
growing budget, the project was eventually cancelled altogether in 2000.
Following backlash from the cancellation, the New Frontiers program was 
established for missions that fit in between the big budgets of the 
Flagship Program and the low budgets of the Discovery Program. 
ALSO: PLUTO


Pluto imaged in color by the New Horizons spacecraft on 13 July 2015 Discovery Discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh Discovery date 18 February 1930 WIKIPEDIA Pluto (minor-planet designation: 134340 Pluto) is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt and the first trans-Neptunian object to be discovered. It is the largest and second-most massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but is less massive than Eris, a dwarf planet in the scattered disc. Like other Kuiper belt objects, Pluto is primarily made of ice and rock and is relatively small—about one-sixth the mass of the Moon and one-third its volume. It has a moderately eccentric and inclined orbit during which it ranges from 30 to 49 astronomical units (4.4–7.3 billion km) from the Sun. This means that Pluto periodically comes closer to the Sun than Neptune, but a stable orbital resonance with Neptune prevents them from colliding. In 2014, Pluto was 32.6 AU from the Sun. Light from the Sun takes about 5.5 hours to reach Pluto at its average distance (39.4 AU). Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, and was originally considered the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, its status as a planet fell into question following the discovery of the Kuiper belt, a ring of objects beyond Neptune that includes Pluto among other large bodies. In 2005, Eris, which is 27% more massive than Pluto, was discovered, which led the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the term "planet" formally for the first time the following year. This definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a member of the new "dwarf planet" category (and specifically as a plutoid). READ MORE...

ALSO: Will Pluto be reinstated as a planet?

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LOOK: Google Search celebrates the Pluto flyby with doodle


Google has switched over to an adorable cartoonish illustration showing the spacecraft spinning around the dwarf planet. Google Screengrab

MANILA, JULY 20, 2015  (PHILSTAR) July 14, 2015 - Few hours from now, the whole world will be witnessing the first and only planned Pluto flyby in history. Will the New Horizons spacecraft successfully make its long-awaited flyby?

In lieu with this upcoming cosmic journey, Google has switched over to an adorable cartoonish illustration showing the spacecraft spinning around the dwarf planet. The illustration of photo includes the specific "heart geographical feature" captured by the spacecraft.

"Today’s Doodle was created by Kevin Laughlin in honor of New Horizons’ intrepid voyage to Pluto’s distant corner of the solar system. Celebrate this scientific breakthrough on NASA’s New Horizons YouTube page, where you’ll find videos detailing the extraordinary discoveries the space probe uncovers," Google said on their blog.

According to NASA, New Horizons spacecraft is a thousand-pound space probe the size of a baby grand piano. It can spin through space at 31,000 miles per hour.

New Horizons' 3 billion-mile, nine-and-a-half-year journey from Cape Canaveral, Florida, culminates tonight at at 7:49 p.m. (Philippine time).


BUSINESS INSIDER ONLINE

Humanity has visited Pluto for the 1st time, but we're not out of the woods yet — here's how to watch for final confirmation JESSICA ORWIG Jul. 14, 2015, 11:22 AM 139,720 13 FACEBOOK LINKEDIN TWITTER EMAIL PRINT pluto new horizonsNASA


NASA streamed its countdown to the moment New Horizons was scheduled to make its closest pass of the dwarf planet, which you can see on
YouTube if you missed it live.

At 7:49 a.m. ET on Tuesday, NASA celebrated a monumental moment in history: The space agency's New Horizons spacecraft completed its nearly 10-year mission to Pluto.

New Horizons was the first spacecraft designed for Pluto and, incidentally, is now the first to visit the distant icy world.

NASA streamed its countdown to the moment New Horizons was scheduled to make its closest pass of the dwarf planet, which you can see on YouTube if you missed it live.

But the New Horizons team isn't out of the woods just yet.

At the time of its historic approach to Pluto, New Horizons was too busy collecting information about Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, to send a signal to Earth confirming that everything went smoothly.

That crucial message was not expected until 8:53 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

"That [message] is going to be a very highly anticipated event because it's going to be sort of putting the cherry on top," Alan Stern, principal investigator for the mission, said Monday in a NASA news briefing.

NASA will stream live coverage of the incoming message starting at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Here's the LiveStream feed below:

READ MORE...

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

NASA also has a way you can experience the flyby in real time with the app "Eyes on Pluto." The app uses the calibrations on New Horizons to simulate when and where the spacecraft is in reference to Pluto.

"The picture in picture view shows you where the spacecraft is looking and what its advanced instruments can see," NASA says. "You can use a 'live' mode to see what New Horizons is doing right now, or preview the flyby of the Pluto System.”

Pluto is one of thousands of objects in a distant region of our solar neighborhood called the Kuiper belt, which is filled with relics of the early solar system. By studying Pluto, scientists hope to learn more about how Earth and the rest of the solar system formed more than 4 billion years ago.

"Today, science takes a great leap observing the Pluto system up close and flying into a new frontier that will help us better understand the origins of the solar system," John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington, said in a statement.

LEARN MORE: NASA just released the 1st clear photo ever taken of Pluto and its largest moon

CHECK OUT: Everything you need to know about NASA's epic mission to Pluto

NOW WATCH: Neil deGrasse Tyson reveals the most underrated planet (and it's not Pluto)


WIKIPEDIA
The New Horizons: First aircraft to explore Pluto


The New Horizons space probe Mission type Pluto flyby

New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched on January 19, 2006, as part of NASA's New Frontiers program. Built by the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute, with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched to study Pluto, its moons and the Kuiper Belt, performing flybys of the Pluto system and one or more Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs).

New Horizons is the result of many years of work on missions to send a spacecraft to Pluto, starting in 1990 with Pluto 350, with Alan Stern and Fran Bagenal of the "Pluto Underground", and in 1992 with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Pluto Fast Flyby; the latter inspired by a USPS stamp that branded Pluto as "Not Yet Explored".

The ambitious mission aimed to send a lightweight, cost-effective spacecraft to Pluto, later evolving into a Kuiper Belt Object mission named Pluto Kuiper Express. However, because of underwhelming support from NASA and a growing budget, the project was eventually cancelled altogether in 2000.

Following backlash from the cancellation, the New Frontiers program was established for missions that fit in between the big budgets of the Flagship Program and the low budgets of the Discovery Program.

READ MORE...

The Applied Physics Laboratory, with a team led by Alan Stern and consisting of former Pluto Kuiper Express team members, won a competition to fund their New Horizons project, based on work left off from Pluto Kuiper Express, under the New Frontiers program.

However, funding for the mission was not secured until after a financial standoff between the team and then-NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

After three years of construction, and several delays at the launch site, New Horizons was launched on January 19, 2006, from Cape Canaveral, directly into an Earth-and-solar-escape trajectory with an Earth-relative speed of about 16.26 kilometers per second (58,536 km/h; 36,373 mph); it set the record for the highest launch speed of a human-made object from Earth.

After a brief encounter with asteroid 132524 APL, New Horizons proceeded to Jupiter, making its closest approach on February 28, 2007 at a distance of 2.3 million kilometers (1.4 million miles).

The Jupiter flyby provided a gravity assist that increased New Horizons‍'​ speed by 4 km/s (14,000 km/h; 9,000 mph). The encounter was also used as a general test of New Horizons'​ scientific capabilities, returning data about its atmosphere, moons, and magnetosphere.

Most of the post-Jupiter voyage was spent in hibernation mode to preserve on-board systems, except for brief annual checkouts. On December 6, 2014, New Horizons was brought back on-line for the encounter, and instrument check-out began.

On January 15, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft began its approach phase to Pluto. On July 14, 2015 11:49 UTC (07:49 EDT), the New Horizons spacecraft flew 12,600 km (7,800 mi) from the surface of Pluto. It was the first spacecraft to explore Pluto.


WIKIPEDIA

PLUTO


Pluto imaged in color by the New Horizons spacecraft on 13 July 2015 Discovery Discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh Discovery date 18 February 1930 WIKIPEDIA

Pluto (minor-planet designation: 134340 Pluto) is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt and the first trans-Neptunian object to be discovered.

It is the largest and second-most massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but is less massive than Eris, a dwarf planet in the scattered disc.

Like other Kuiper belt objects, Pluto is primarily made of ice and rock and is relatively small—about one-sixth the mass of the Moon and one-third its volume.

It has a moderately eccentric and inclined orbit during which it ranges from 30 to 49 astronomical units (4.4–7.3 billion km) from the Sun. This means that Pluto periodically comes closer to the Sun than Neptune, but a stable orbital resonance with Neptune prevents them from colliding. In 2014, Pluto was 32.6 AU from the Sun. Light from the Sun takes about 5.5 hours to reach Pluto at its average distance (39.4 AU).

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, and was originally considered the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, its status as a planet fell into question following the discovery of the Kuiper belt, a ring of objects beyond Neptune that includes Pluto among other large bodies.

In 2005, Eris, which is 27% more massive than Pluto, was discovered, which led the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the term "planet" formally for the first time the following year.

This definition excluded Pluto and reclassified it as a member of the new "dwarf planet" category (and specifically as a plutoid).

READ MORE...

Some astronomers believe Pluto should still be considered a planet.

Pluto has five known moons: Charon (the largest, with a diameter just over half that of Pluto), Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. Pluto and Charon are sometimes considered a binary system because the barycenter of their orbits does not lie within either body.

The IAU has not formalized a definition for binary dwarf planets, and Charon is officially classified as a moon of Pluto.

On 14 July 2015, the New Horizons probe flew by Pluto, making it the first spacecraft to do so. NASA plans for New Horizons to take detailed measurements and images of Pluto and its moons.

The name Pluto, after the god of the underworld, was proposed by Venetia Burney (1918–2009), a then eleven-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England, who was interested in classical mythology. She suggested it in a conversation with her grandfather Falconer Madan, a former librarian at the University of Oxford's Bodleian Library, who passed the name to astronomy professor Herbert Hall Turner, who cabled it to colleagues in the United States.

The object was officially named on 24 March 1930. Each member of the Lowell Observatory was allowed to vote on a short-list of three: Minerva (which was already the name for an asteroid), Cronus (which had lost reputation through being proposed by the unpopular astronomer Thomas Jefferson Jackson See), and Pluto. Pluto received every vote.

The name was announced on 1 May 1930.[40] Upon the announcement, Madan gave Venetia £5 (equivalent to £282, or $430 USD in 2015), as a reward.

The choice of name was partly inspired by the fact that the first two letters of Pluto are the initials of Percival Lowell, and Pluto's astronomical symbol (♇, Unicode U+2647, ♇) is a monogram constructed from the letters 'PL'.

Pluto's astrological symbol resembles that of Neptune (Neptune symbol.svg), but has a circle in place of the middle prong of the trident (Pluto's astrological symbol.svg).

The name was soon embraced by wider culture. In 1930, Walt Disney was apparently inspired by it when he introduced for Mickey Mouse a canine companion named Pluto, although Disney animator Ben Sharpsteen could not confirm why the name was given.

In 1941, Glenn T. Seaborg named the newly created element plutonium after Pluto, in keeping with the tradition of naming elements after newly discovered planets, following uranium, which was named after Uranus, and neptunium, which was named after Neptune.

Relationship with Neptune

Despite Pluto's orbit appearing to cross that of Neptune when viewed from directly above, the two objects' orbits are aligned so that they can never collide or even approach closely. There are several reasons why.

At the simplest level, one can examine the two orbits and see that they do not intersect. When Pluto is closest to the Sun, and hence closest to Neptune's orbit as viewed from above, it is also the farthest above Neptune's path.

Pluto's orbit passes about 8 AU above that of Neptune, preventing a collision. Pluto's ascending and descending nodes, the points at which its orbit crosses the ecliptic, are currently separated from Neptune's by over 21°.

This alone is not enough to protect Pluto; perturbations from the planets (especially Neptune) could alter aspects of Pluto's orbit (such as its orbital precession) over millions of years so that a collision could be possible. Some other mechanism or mechanisms must therefore be at work.

The most significant of these is that Pluto lies in the 2:3 mean-motion resonance with Neptune: for every two orbits that Pluto makes around the Sun, Neptune makes three. The two objects then return to their initial positions and the cycle repeats, each cycle lasting about 500 years.

This pattern is such that, in each 500-year cycle, the first time Pluto is near perihelion, Neptune is over 50° behind Pluto. By Pluto's second perihelion, Neptune will have completed a further one and a half of its own orbits, and so will be a similar distance ahead of Pluto. Pluto and Neptune's minimum separation is over 17 AU, which is greater than Pluto's minimum separation from Uranus (11 AU).

The 2:3 resonance between the two bodies is highly stable, and is preserved over millions of years.[94] This prevents their orbits from changing relative to one another; the cycle always repeats in the same way, and so the two bodies can never pass near each other. Thus, even if Pluto's orbit were not highly inclined, the two bodies could never collide.


THE INDEPENDENT.COM.UK

Will Pluto be reinstated as a planet? FRED BARBASH , WASHINGTON POST Thursday 02 October 2014

Harvard-Smithsonian Center debate comes to conclusion that Pluto IS a planet

There were once nine planets. Everyone learned them, sometimes aided by a mnemonic: “My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas.”

But back in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU), arbiter of what is and what isn’t a planet, stripped Pluto of its status, saying it was too small to pack sufficient gravitational punch. It was downgraded to a new, second-class status: “dwarf planet.”

So then there were eight: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, or “My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nachos.”

The decision did not sit well with the public. Some amateur stargazers and some astronomers thought it rather arbitrary. As the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics put it in a press release, “a dwarf fruit tree is still a small fruit tree, and a dwarf hamster is still a small hamster.”

But recently the Harvard-Smithsonian Center did something about it: It held a debate — pro and con — and let the audience vote. The result: “Pluto IS a planet.”

The debate centered around the IAU’s demands of a planet — that it must:

be in orbit around the Sun,
be round or nearly round, and
be shown to have “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit, be gravitationally dominant in its area — the big kid on the block.

Pluto was originally kicked out because it did not “clear the neighborhood.” It is indeed small. It has a radius of about 750 miles — less than 20 per cent of the Earth’s radius. Its circumference is about 4,500 miles, which makes it smaller than the moon. You could fly around its equator faster than flying from Washington, DC, to Hawaii.

READ MORE...

According to a release from the centre, Owen Gingerich, who chaired the IAU planet definition committee, presented the historical viewpoint. He said Pluto is a planet, and “a planet is a culturally defined word that changes over time.”

Gareth Williams, associate director of the Minor Planet Center, presented the IAU’s viewpoint — that Pluto is not a planet.

And Dimitar Sasselov, director of the Harvard Origins of Life Initiative, “presented the exoplanet scientist’s viewpoint.”

Sasselov argued, among other things, that the criteria for planethood was sun-centric, excluding planets beyond our solar system, or so-called “exoplanets.”

He offered an alternative definition: A planet, he argued, is “the smallest spherical lump of matter that formed around stars or stellar remnants.”

That opened up a lot of possibilities, one of them clearly being the reinstatement of Pluto.

When the unrecorded voice vote was taken, Sasselov’s new definition prevailed.

Of course, the vote doesn’t bind anyone. But, for Pluto enthusiasts, it’s a start.

©Washington Post


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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