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Fast and Light to Pluto

BY Dennis Overbye, Jason Drakeford and Jonathan Corum | Jul. 6, 2015 | 13:21

On July 14, 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft will zip past Pluto and its five known moons. Nobody really knows what it will find.

13+ minute video.

http://www.nytimes.com/video/science/100000003783764/fast-and-light-to-pluto.html

 

( Quote from the BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33459476 )

... When it arrives at the dwarf planet, New Horizons will be travelling* at almost 14km/s -

far too fast to go into orbit.                       (*sic. U.K. spelling)

... New Horizons' difficulty is getting all that information back to Earth.

The distance to Pluto is vast - more than 4.5 billion km - and this makes for very low bit rates.

It will take 16 months to send back all the science acquired over the coming days.

I hope they're not transmitting all that info on 2.4gHz. =)

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Very nice, new mexico.  When I was in 8th grade I made a scale model of the solar system by taking hundreds of sheets of paper and taping them together into a big toilet paper roll of planets and space, where the sun was basically just a vertical line.  But driving through the desert to make that video looks like a lot more fun.

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i love this animation of the curiosity rover landing; note that this is accomplished all by autopilot and programming; there is no way to do this remotely in real time, because the distance from earth to mars is too far for radio relay to work in the 14 minute transmission window.

Edited by Gerard-NYNY

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Published on Feb 11, 2016

Gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime -- aren’t just an Einstein theory any more.

A team of international scientists announced Thursday that they confirmed the waves’ existence -

after recording feedback from a black hole collision a billion light-years from Earth.

Hari Sreenivasan learns more from Dave Reitze of the California Institute of Technology.

 

 

And, straight from the horses mouth -

(The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory)

News release 11 February, 2016:

Re: "We did it!"

https://www.ligo.caltech.edu/news/ligo20160211

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I found this to be a fascinating read ... (From the 'New Yorker Magazine,' online.)

Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them
February 11, 2016  By Nicola Twilley

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/gravitational-waves-exist-heres-how-scientists-finally-found-them

And, from the New York Times:

 

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continuing from above posts:

Published on Feb 12, 2016

"Is what we have just realized yesterday about the gravitational waves similar to, for example, discovering the structure of DNA? Is it that big?" Theoretical physicist Brian Greene, astrophysicist Janna Levin, New York Times reporter Dennis Overbye, and Walter Isaacson, author of "Einstein: His Life and Universe," explain the significance of the discovery of gravitational waves.

 

 

-  -  -  -

 

"A great day for humanity" Brian Greene on gravitational waves (Feb. 12, 2016)

 

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Published on May 16, 2016

February saw one of the most important astronomical breakthroughs of the decade, as a team of scientists “heard” gravitational waves -- a key postulate of Einstein’s theory of relativity -- for the first time in human history. Now, astrophysicist Janna Levin recounts that incredible discovery, and the human drama behind it, in her new book “Black Hole Blues.” Levin joins Jeffrey Brown for more.

 

 

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