Friday, January 13, 2006

Mission to Pluto

For those of you who are unaware of this little bit of science news, NASA is going to launch a probe to the planet Pluto in about 4 days time. There is an excellent website if you want to learn about the mission here. The site has webcams that will show the launch as well as a host of other Pluto trivia goodies and spacecraft diagrams. The cool thing was the name list sign up. You could have your name put on a disc which will end up on Pluto.

According to the timeline, the probe will hit the planetary gravity pull of Jupiter in Feb 2007, and then will be flying in space until it meets up with Pluto and its binary planet Charon in July 2015. There is an interesting article on the BBC about how Pluto was discovered and named. The woman who apparently won the naming contest back in the day is still alive.

I guess Pluto fascinates me because it is really 2 planets that are so far away that it will take a spacecraft, going at essentially the speed of a bullet from a gun, almost ten years to get there. It boggles the mind how big the our little slice of the universe is in and of itself.

I am man...see me geek.

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