With the NASA New Horizons mission inching closer to the dwarf planet Pluto, Google hs come out with doodle to mark the occasion for the mankind to get a close look at the distant solar system of ours.
The animted Google doodle, by Kevin Laughlin, has come on the day when New Horizons mission will take a closest ever look at Pluto’s icy surface while passing over and take pictues for the ground researchers on Earth.
New Horizons mission, launched on Jan 19, 2006 when Pluto was classified a full planet, has travelled close to ten years reaching 3 billion miles (4.8 billion km) to touch the Pluto’s vicinity to scout the unfamiliar planet in the solar system.
To be precise, New Horozons spacecraft will pass by Pluto at 5:19 PM IST (1149 GMT), at a distance of 7,767 miles (12,500 km) and remain in the neighbourhood for at least 14 minutes before heading to Charon, Pluto’s jumbo moon at around 17,931 miles (28,856 km).
Earlier, the Hubble Space Telescope had taken pictures of Pluto in the past but New Horizons should change all that with its closest-ever images of Pluto today.
Besides Charon, Pluto has its own mini solar system with other baby moons called Styx, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos and Styx. The $700 million mission will take note of the temperature and pressure in Pluto’s nitrogen-rich atmosphere, where temperatures can plunge to nearly minus-400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pluto was discovered in 1930 by an American, Clyde Tombaugh, at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona and his ashes are onboard the New Horizons.
However, the images sent by New Horizons will reach 4½ hours later and NASA plans release them tomorrow.
New Horizon mission will give Earth its first chance for an up close and personal peek at Pluto, the ball of rock and ice orbiting at the furthest edge of our solar system. Weighing a thousand-pound, the space probe NASA sent at 31,000 miles per hour, traveled for 9½ years and 3 billion miles.
The pictures to be taken and sent by New Horizons to Earth are “the first of their kind, painting scientists a more vivid picture of the far-off dwarf planet” said Google Doodle team.
New Horizons’ intrepid voyage to Pluto’s distant corner of the solar system is being celebrated by Google with its doodle and a special home page on Youtube NASA’s New Horizons YouTube page, with videos detailing the extraordinary discoveries the space probe uncovers.