Out From Behind The Sun

I haven’t mentioned much about the New Horizons spacecraft of late, mostly because there has not been much to tell. Weekly reports indicate that it nothing of note happened when it spent several days out of communications behind the Sun. Although the “meaningless” overcurrent condition that caused a little consternation in December did indeed repeat itself, the software uploaded to correctly detect and handle the signal has worked fine.

New Horizons should be quite (update and apology – I meant to type “quiet”, but fat-fingered it. The spell checker is, of course useless in these situations! -jb) about now, cruising peacefully through space in a sleep mode. It isn’t exactly. It’s a little awake for the sake of monitoring, but mostly comatose. (For Alan Stern’s take on the current mission profile, see here.)

But science goes on. The data taken by New Horizons last spring as it sped by Jupiter has just been released to the public (Hey! You paid for it. It’s yours!), along with some basic tools to deal with it. So along with the pros, you too can do real science, if that is your inclination.

Amazing world, isn’t it? Between spacecraft releasing data in near real time and archives like the SDSS, who needs a telescope? It’s all there for you online.

Explore posts in the same categories: New Horizons, Science

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