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Published 6 years ago by bogdan with 12 Comments

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  • folkrav (edited 6 years ago)
    +7

    This is incredible. They managed to launch from Earth a spacecraft the size of a grand piano, fast enough that it reached the Moon in nine hours, use Jupiter's gravity pull to slingshot it across space and make it pass 8000 miles from Pluto. 8000 miles isn't big. It's tiny. It's the Earth's diameter. It's 1/375 000 000 of the whole distance it traveled.

    Jesus Fucking Christ.

    Space travel always made me daydream a lot since I'm a kid.

    • Zorgon
      +3

      It reminds me of an excerpt from the book Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. The accuracy with which they launched they voyager spacecraft was the equivalent of throwing a dart from Seattle and hitting the bullseye in Dallas.

    • Exaltedgod
      +2

      I know right? Space travel and exploration is just down right stupefying. The math and physics alone is mind bending. Some of the early pictures are showing Pluto as yellow? That is cool (no pun intended).

    • Pantera
      +2

      They make me feel dumb.

  • anonycon
    +4

    If you're my age, you've spent more than three decades knowing is out there, but not really knowing what it looks like. The changeover from planet to dwarf planet was a change, but I think they did the right thing, but that doesn't mean that my generation won't still associate Pluto more with Earth and Neptune than with Eris and Ceres. And I am excited, partly because my son is excited. Going from the round blur to a real picture of the outlier will be exciting.

    • oystein
      +2

      I'm just happy there is a (dwarf) planet called Eris! My favourite goddess!

  • kikaider01
    +2

    I've been telling my (AP physics) students about this throughout the year, tracking it as it gets closer and closer, and I'm hoping to have some really spectacular photos to show them int he fall. There are so many superlatives with this one -- the speed of the probe, the distance, the accuracy required, the brief window of the fly-by -- that it really captures the imagination.

  • respekknuckles
    +2

    The love for Pluto is an interesting thing. I think it has mass appeal precisely because of its demotion to dwarf planet status. It's kind of like the lovable loser in the planetary game. We would be interested regardless. For a much larger swath of people (many of whom were taught it was a full-on planet) we see it as an old, blurry friend who we'll get to see in living color after all these years.

  • NotWearingPants
    +2

    I remember the way I felt when Neil Armstrong stepped off that ladder (Yes, I'm old). Feeling that way again, waiting for the pictures to come in.

  • sixstorm
    +2

    Pretty amazing. Can't wait for some pics!

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