Closing in On Pluto

Stay tuned as the New Horizons Spacecraft closes in on Pluto!  Below is an image of Pluto taken by New Horizons on July 11. For more images and up-to-date information, visit http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/. This is an extremely exciting moment for New Horizons team members, including RECON PI Marc Buie who is currently at the spacecraft control center at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

During the flyby, New Horizons will be out of radio contact with Earth as it executes the carefully choreographed sequence of commands between July 14 03:17 UT and July 15 00:53UT. For those on the West Coast, that’s from 8:17PM PDT on Monday (7/13) to 5:53PM PDT on Tuesday (7/14).

Coincidentally, an occultation by classical KBO Quaoar and its moon Weywot is predicted for July 15 at 05:03 UT, just four hours after the anticipated link up with New Horizons after the flyby. Tuesday is looking to be a banner day for the Kuiper Belt!

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