New Horizons: Update:

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by paddoboy, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    New Horizons: Possible clouds on Pluto, next target is reddish
    October 18, 2016 by Tricia Talbert

    The next target for NASA's New Horizons mission – which made a historic flight past Pluto in July 2015 –– apparently bears a colorful resemblance to its famous, main destination.

    Hubble Space Telescope data suggests that 2014 MU69, a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) about a billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) beyond Pluto, is as red, if not redder, than Pluto. This is the first hint at the surface properties of the far flung object that New Horizons will survey on Jan. 1, 2019.

    Mission scientists are discussing this and other Pluto and Kuiper Belt findings this week at the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) and European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) in Pasadena, California.

    "We're excited about the exploration ahead for New Horizons, and also about what we are still discovering from Pluto flyby data," said Alan Stern, principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "Now, with our spacecraft transmitting the last of its data from last summer's flight through the Pluto system, we know that the next great exploration of Pluto will require another mission to be sent there."

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