5 comments on “This Week in Science: July 12, 2015

  • This week in Religion:
    – Huckerbee says the supreme court can’t over rule god.
    – The Pope makes a speech against others using the most successful catholic methods of corruption, inequality and ideological dictators.
    – Indiana tries to legalize Christian discrimination.
    – ISIS

    You decide which one is making earth a better place.

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  • Meanwhile:-



    New Horizons is expected to come as close as 7,800 miles (12,500 km) from Pluto at 7:49 a.m. EDT/1149 GMT on Tuesday.

    It will become the first probe to visit distant Pluto, capping a reconnaissance of the solar system that began more than 50 years ago.

    On July 14, New Horizons will remain radio silent for much of the day so that it can concentrate on gathering data.

    Timing is crucial. New Horizons will have just 30 minutes to conduct the most important part of the mission, including photographing Pluto and Charon. Here is a brief timeline:

    7.49am EDT: New Horizons makes it closes approach at 7,800 miles (12,500 km)

    8:04am: The probe will makes its closest approach to Charon at 17,960 miles (28,900 km)

    8:51am: New Horizons will pass through Pluto’s shadow, allowing it to probe the dwarf planet’s atmosphere

    10.18am: It passes through Charon’s shadow, allowing it to search for an atmosphere

    8.53 pm: Mission team on Earth should receive a preprogrammed ‘phone home’ signal, which, if all went well, will indicate the spacecraft survived

    An automated sequence will then allow the probe to make a series of measurements, photographs and manoeuvres as it passes within 7,750 miles of the dwarf planet.

    It will point its instruments not only at Pluto, but its largest moon Charon and the smaller moons of Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.

    On 14 July 2015 the flyby of Pluto will begin and the spacecraft will use a suite of instruments to map the surface of Pluto and its moon Charon to a resolution of 25 miles (40km) – far better than anything possible before.

    As it flies past, it will also look back at the two bodies against the sun, to look for telltale signs of an atmosphere.

    Despite the long journey, New Horizons will be travelling at such a speed that the flyby will last only around two hours – beginning at 11.49am GMT (06.49am EST) on 14 July and ending just after 2.15pm GMT (9.15am EST).

    After passing Pluto, New Horizons will flyby one or several Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), other bodies beyond the orbit of Pluto. The mission will officially end in 2026.

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  • All is quiet at present as New Horizons turns its transmitter away from Earth to concentrate on scanning Pluto and its moons.

    Meanwhile – back on Earth – perhaps the other main news of the week:-


    Large Hadron Collider discovers new pentaquark particle

    Scientists at the Large Hadron Collider have announced the discovery of a new particle called the pentaquark.

    It was first predicted to exist in the 1960s but, much like the Higgs boson particle before it, the pentaquark eluded science for decades until its detection at the LHC.

    The discovery, which amounts to a new form of matter, was made by the Hadron Collider’s LHCb experiment.

    The findings have been submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters.

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