New Horizons arrives at Jupiter and returns some spectacular images.

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New Horizons arrives at Jupiter and returns some spectacular images.

Again, this is from the Bad Astronomer's blog. Thank you again Phil Plait!

Be sure to check the New Horizons link at the bottom of the post for more images.

 

New Horizons at Jupiter

PSA: Hey, don’t forget to register to win the Sam Neill DVDs!
New Horizons is one of the fastest probes ever launched by humans. Even so, it’ll take another eight years to get to Pluto, its primary target. But it would take longer if it didn’t steal energy from Jupiter in a process called a gravity […]

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New Horizons is one of the fastest probes ever launched by humans. Even so, it’ll take another eight years to get to Pluto, its primary target. But it would take longer if it didn’t steal energy from Jupiter in a process called a gravity assist (it catches up to Jupiter from behind, if you will, and absorbs some of Jupiter’s orbital momentum, accelerating the probe a lot and slowing Jupiter an eensy weensy bit).

But the folks who run the NH program aren’t ones to let an opportunity pass — or to pass an opportunity. They aimed NH’s very sophisticated cameras at the monster planet and took a set of incredible images (there are 4 gigabytes of images in all, and 70% have been sent back so far).

There were many purposes for getting the images. There are still lots of things we don’t understand about Jupiter, of course, so more data always help. Things change there all the time, so getting images at any time is good. Also, it helps to calibrate the cameras on New Horizons. I spent many years calibrating instruments on board Hubble, and so I know that if you don’t understand how your equipment works, you can’t get any good information out of them.

But they also took pictures because they’re pretty. Check this out:

image of Europa rising over the limb of Jupiter

That’s the moon Europa rising over Jupiter’s limb. The planners took that picture not because they could get good science, but because they knew it would be stunning. Stanley Kubrick couldn’t have done better!

But like I said, things change. Io is a volcanic moon, constantly erupting as its insides are churned up by tides from the other moons. When NH passed, the volcano Tvashtar was spewing sulphur into the sky:

image of Io erupting

Wow.

And finally, how can I ignore my own namesake, Oval BA, Red Spot Junior? This is highest resolution color image ever taken of it:

image of Oval BA, a storm on Jupiter

For a sense of scale, the Earth would fit easily inside the frame of this picture. Jupiter does things BIG.

There are tons more images on the New Horizons site, and they are all incredible, and all worth looking at. Man, just 8 more years. I can’t wait!

 


Tomcat
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Absolutely breathtaking.  I

Absolutely breathtaking.  I love space!


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Tomcat wrote: Absolutely

Tomcat wrote:
Absolutely breathtaking. I love space!

Yeah, me too Tomcat! Did you see the thread regarding Hubble's birthday? Amazing images there too.

Thread 


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Some awesome pics coming

Some awesome pics coming from space these days. I like that pic of the volcano on Io especially.

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Space Week is coming up on

Space Week is coming up on the Science Channel.  My TiVo is in for a workout.

I love this shit!

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Vastet wrote: Some awesome

Vastet wrote:
Some awesome pics coming from space these days. I like that pic of the volcano on Io especially.

Yeah, very cool!

Also there is new news out today that Mercury likely has a molten core. Which is another exciting find.


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These pictures are

These pictures are absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!

I may not understand all of this, but I have a deep appreciation for it. 


Vastet
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BGH wrote: Vastet

BGH wrote:

Vastet wrote:
Some awesome pics coming from space these days. I like that pic of the volcano on Io especially.

Yeah, very cool!

Also there is new news out today that Mercury likely has a molten core. Which is another exciting find.

Yeah I just finished reading about that. Could be some sulphur or another element that lowers the melting point of the iron core by a few hundred kelvin. Exciting times. I'm so glad I wasn't born 300 years ago.

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Cpt_pineapple
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When are you going to post

When are you going to post pictures of Uranus? >_>

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote: When

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

When are you going to post pictures of Uranus? >_>

 

Seriously? When the probe makes it's fly by of the planet.

If you are being facetious, I will never post a picture of my anus.

Cpt. you are a serious nutjob sometimes but your comments make me chuckle from time to time, so I guess you are not completely without purpose. 


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BGH wrote: Cpt_pineapple

BGH wrote:
Cpt_pineapple wrote:

When are you going to post pictures of Uranus? >_>

Seriously? When the probe makes it's fly by of the planet.

If you are being facetious, I will never post a picture of my anus.

Cpt. you are a serious nutjob sometimes but your comments make me chuckle from time to time, so I guess you are not completely without purpose.

BGH - you make me chuckle all of the time.  


Vastet
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Heh. Personally I think

Heh. Personally I think Uranus is the most interesting and one of the most beautiful planets in the solar system. The only planet that spins sideways. And it has a storm just like Jupiters great red spot. It also has rings like Saturn and Jupiter, but are hard to see like Jupiters. I was going to post a pic of it, but AOL is being a bitch and won't let me access my own account for some reason.

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Like this one?  

Like this one?

 


Vastet
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Yeah. :)

Yeah. Smiling

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