By Dr. Aaron B. Clevenson
Observatory Director, Insperity Observatory
Mark your calendar, 6:49:57 a.m. (Central Time) July 14, will be a first in our exploration of space. This is the time of the closest approach of the New Horizons spacecraft as it flies past the Dwarf Planet Pluto. This is our first chance to see detailed close-up pictures of Pluto and its moons. New Horizons was launched January 19, 2006, and is flying at more than 9 miles per second. It is 32 times further from the sun than the Earth is. After the flyby, New Horizons will join Voyagers 1 and 2 and Pioneers 10 and 11 as Earth’s emissaries to the universe: the only five objects humans launched that will leave the solar neighborhood to travel among the stars.
Come join us at the next Public Night at Insperity Observatory (humbleisd.net/observatory) to hear more about the mission and Pluto. Public Nights are the first Friday, monthly.