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January 18, 2016 - Postcard from the Edge

Postcard from the Edge  After more than nine years of traveling through space, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft performed humanity’s historic first close encounter with Pluto and its family of frozen moons on July 14, 2015. It was the first time we got a good close-up look at the distant world, which for over seventy years had held reign over the frozen edges of the Solar System as its outermost planet—much like its namesake governed the cold darkness of the ancient Greeks’ mythological underworld. Launched aboard an Atlas V rocket ten years ago this week, New Horizons will continue to return high-resolution data back to Earth from its July flyby (with a light-travel time of over 4.4 hours) throughout 2016 as it heads ever farther out into the Kuiper Belt toward its next observation targets.

Image credit: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab / Southwest Research Institute

Weekly Calendar

January 18-24 2016

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History


Moon phase Monday 18

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

2002: Gemini South Observatory dedicated

Moon phase Tuesday 19

Pallas in conjunction with Sun
Aldebaran 0.5° south of Moon

1747: Johann Bode born
1851: Jacobus Kapteyn born
1965: Gemini II launched
2006: New Horizons launched

Moon phase Wednesday 20

1573: Simon Marius born
1930: Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin born
1966: Apollo A-004 launched, first flight test of CSM hardware
1978: Progress 1 launched

Moon phase Thursday 21

Moon phase Friday 22

1968: Apollo 5 launched
1978: First automatic resupply ship docking (Progress 1)
1992: STS-42 Discovery launched
1998: STS-89 Endeavour launched
2003: Pioneer 10’s last signal to Earth

Moon phase Saturday 23

Full Moon 8:46 PM ET

Moon phase Sunday 24

1978: Cosmos 954 satellite reenters atmosphere over Canada
1985: STS-51C Discovery launched
1986: Voyager 2 flies past Uranus
1992: Magellan begins third mapping cycle of Venus

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