for-all-mankind:P-14 Hours (13 July, 5:49 pm EDT) – Pluto’s…

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015


P-14 Hours (13 July, 5:49 pm EDT) – Pluto’s diameter confirmed.

Pluto and Charon, seen on July 12, 2015, with New Horizons 1.6 million miles away. These images, like all those that have preceded them, are the best yet seen by scientists on Earth.

These images have helped scientists determine with clarity for the first time ever Pluto’s diameter, which until now had a significant margin of error. Due to the slight Plutonian atmosphere, it was difficult to gauge how wide the dwarf planet was.

At 1.6 million miles away during the time of observation, data from New Horizons have shown Pluto to be larger than previously thought, at over 1,472 miles across. Charon, for comparison, is 750 miles across.

In the image of Pluto above, left, the heart-shaped feature is beginning to rotate back into view. It is this Hemisphere that New Horizons will pass within 7,800 miles of at 7:49:50 am EDT tomorrow, July 14.

One final set of pre-encounter images are expected later tonight, July 13. Following this downlink of information, the probe will be silent until 9 pm EDT tomorrow, July 14, where it will send an ‘all clear” signal that the flyby science sequence was executed.

For the latest and up-to-date information on the New Horizons mission, check out the official twitter pages here and here, as well as the APL website.

Click here for all our New Horizons coverage.

Reposted from