Skip to comments.Where To Go After Pluto? Hubble Seeks The Next Target For New Horizons
Posted on 06/17/2014 8:24:26 AM PDT by BenLurkin
Hubble Space Telescope (in Earth orbit) is scoping out icy objects beyond Pluto.
What astronomers are doing now is a pilot observation where the space telescope looks at a spot in the constellation Sagittarius. Controllers will try to turn the telescope at the same rate as what a KBO would be orbiting around the sun. If the method works, stars will look like streaks and the KBOs will look like pinpoint objects, NASA stated.
If the test observation identifies at least two KBOs of a specified brightness it will demonstrate statistically that Hubble has a chance of finding an appropriate KBO for New Horizons to visit. At that point, an additional allotment of observing time will continue the search across a field of view roughly the angular size of the full moon, NASA said in a press release.
The reason for this step is Hubble is a high-profile telescope, receiving a lot of requests for observing time around the world. The agency wants to ensure that the telescope is being used for the best scientific return possible. NASA also noted the search might be difficult.
Though Hubble is powerful enough to see galaxies near the horizon of the universe, finding a KBO is a challenging needle-in-haystack search. A typical KBO along the New Horizons trajectory may be no larger than Manhattan Island and as black as charcoal, NASA stated.
(Excerpt) Read more at universetoday.com ...
Well, I’ll say it has generated some awesome wallpapers.
Really looking forward to the first pics of Pluto next year. New Horizons is only about 3 AU out now.
I looked it up. It’s “keep buggering on.”
Dumb question. How fast is it moving?
New Horizons is hauling the mail at about 36,373 miles per hour.
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