NASA scientists were amazed this morning, after seeing the first high resolution images of Pluto. After nine and a half years of waiting, the New Horizons spacecraft flew by the dwarf planet at around five this morning.
We couldn’t get a scientist on the show tonight, so we got the next best thing. Pluto nerd and fan boy Bean from The Kevin and Bean Show on KROQ Los Angeles joined us on the show tonight.
Check out some of the amazing high resolution photos posted on NASA’s Instagram this morning
Gorgeous Pluto! The dwarf planet has sent a love note back to Earth via our New Horizons spacecraft, which has traveled more than 9 years and 3+ billion miles. This is the last and most detailed image of Pluto sent to Earth before the moment of closest approach, which was at 7:49 a.m. EDT Tuesday - about 7,750 miles above the surface -- roughly the same distance from New York to Mumbai, India - making it the first-ever space mission to explore a world so far from Earth. This stunning image of the dwarf planet was captured from New Horizons at about 4 p.m. EDT on July 13, about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach. The spacecraft was 476,000 miles (766,000 kilometers) from the surface. Images from closest approach are expected to be released on Wednesday, July 15. Image Credit: NASA #nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons#solarsystem #nasabeyond #science
Three billion miles from Earth and just two and a half million miles from Pluto, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has taken its best image of four dark spots that continue to captivate. At 7:49 AM EDT on Tuesday, July 14 New Horizons will zip past Pluto at 30,800 miles per hour (49,600 kilometers per hour), with a suite of seven science instruments busily gathering data. The mission will complete the initial reconnaissance of the solar system with the first-ever look at the icy dwarf planet. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #pluto #plutoflyby #nasabeyond #science
They're a fascinating pair: Two icy worlds, spinning around their common center of gravity like a pair of figure skaters clasping hands. Scientists believe they were shaped by a cosmic collision billions of years ago, and yet, in many ways, they seem more like strangers than siblings. A high-contrast array of bright and dark features covers Pluto's surface, while on Charon, only a dark polar region interrupts a generally more uniform light gray terrain. The reddish materials that color Pluto are absent on Charon. Pluto has a significant atmosphere; Charon does not. On Pluto, exotic ices like frozen nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide have been found, while Charon's surface is made of frozen water and ammonia compounds. The interior of Pluto is mostly rock, while Charon contains equal measures of rock and water ice. On Tuesday, our New Horizons spacecraft will make its closest approach to Pluto. Standby for more never-before seen images of Pluto! Image Credit: NASA #nasa #space #newhorizons #pluto #plutoflyby #charon #nasabeyond #science
Only 8 days until our New Horizons spacecraft flies by Pluto! And new high-resolution views of Pluto were just released! One image includes the four mysterious dark spots on Pluto that have captured the imagination of the world. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) obtained the images prior to the July 4 anomaly that sent New Horizons into safe mode. This color version of the July 3 LORRI image was created by adding color data from the Ralph instrument gathered earlier in the mission. All images: http://www.nasa.gov/newhorizons Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI #nasa #pluto #plutoflyby #newhorizons #space #nasabeyond #science
New Pluto images from our New Horizons spacecraft show two very different faces of the mysterious dwarf planet, one with a series of intriguing spots along the equator that are evenly spaced. Each of the spots is about 300 miles in diameter, with a surface area that's roughly the size of the state of Missouri. Scientists have yet to see anything quite like the dark spots; their presence has piqued the interest of the New Horizons science team, due to the remarkable consistency in their spacing and size. While the origin of the spots is a mystery for now, the answer may be revealed as the spacecraft continues its approach - July 14 is the flyby - to the mysterious dwarf planet. Image Credit: NASA #nasa #newhorizons #pluto #plutoflyby #science
Come Fly with New Horizons on its Approach to Pluto: Images from New Horizons show the view from aboard the spacecraft closes in on the Pluto system for a July 14 flyby. This time-lapse approach movie was made from images from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) camera aboard New Horizons spacecraft taken between May 28 and June 25, 2015. During that time the spacecraft distance to Pluto decreased almost threefold, from about 35 million miles to 14 million miles (56 million kilometers to 22 million kilometers). The images show Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, growing in apparent size as New Horizons closes in. As it rotates, Pluto displays a strongly contrasting surface dominated by a bright northern hemisphere, with a discontinuous band of darker material running along the equator. Charon has a dark polar region, and there are indications of brightness variations at lower latitudes. Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute #nasa #apl #space #newhorizons #pluto #plutoflyby #science