Hello Pluto

A slightly different topic this week.

I have always been into Astronomy and growing up I had books on the topic that never had a picture of Pluto when talking about the planets (I am old enough that Pluto was still classed a planet).

Either there was an artist impression, or this extremely blurry picture taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.

This week were given the first ever real view of Pluto. Nobody could predict what it would look like:

I was a little disappointed on the days leading up to the fly-by. The images that they were releasing as they got closer were a bit underwhelming. But this one was worth the wait and there are many more pictures and discoveries to come. It will take 18 months to get all of the data.

The data transfer rate is just 1Kb a second with a peak rate of 4Kb! Just to give an idea of how slow that is,
the above picture would take over 1 minute to download; this BBC page would take about 13 to 14 minutes to completly download; and the Facebook landing page (that you land on once you have logged in) would take about 1 hour 20 minutes!

It has been a very exciting time in Space Exploration. We have had a probe leave the Solar System itself and is in inter-stellar space, we have one orbiting a comet and managed to land something on it, and we have been exploring distant (dwarf) planets that nobody has seen before (Ceres as well as Pluto).

Who knows what we will discover next...


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