The Complete Story Of The Pluto Flyby In 12 NASA Visuals 

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

Yesterday, we watched the Pluto flyby with New Horizons mission control via accurate-to-the-second visualisations and infographics. The results were glorious on the American Museum of Natural History's IMAX screen.

The New Horizons spacecraft is moving very, very fast:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

She is a beauty — compact yet complex, with named parts:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

What we're looking at, via io9: New Horizons is equipped with seven different instruments, including three optical instruments, two plasma instruments, a dust sensor and a radio science receiver/radiometer:

  • LORRI: Long-range and high-resolution visible mapping
  • SWAP: Solar wind
  • PEPSSI: Energetic particle spectronomy
  • Alice: Ultraviolet imaging spectroscopy
  • Ralph: Visible mapping, infrared spectroscopic mapping
  • SDC: Student-built dust counter
  • Rex: Radio science and radiometry

Recent days have taught us much we did not know:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

Our continuing mission:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

This stamp is now totally a collector's item and full of lies:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

Oh, you beautiful, shiny space beast:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

That's no moon!!!

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

New Horizons is three billion light years from home and has taken 9 1/2 years to arrive. Getting her there is like "threading a needle from New York to LA"

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

Nitrogen, methane, carbon monoxide and more for everyone!

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

At this point the scientists were getting verklempt: "This is a post-human planetary encounter."

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

There she is:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

You can download the "OpenSpace" software utilised here in its pre-alpha release in binary form:

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

Its purpose is to "digitise the universe", and in the future it will also be at work on space weather projects. Space weather. What a time to be alive.

The Complete Story of the Pluto Flyby in 12 NASA Visuals

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