Google giving tribute to New Horizons by placing doodle. The New Horizons determined the size of the Pluto very approximately.
Google giving tribute to New Horizons by placing doodle
July 14, the whole world waiting to find whether New Horizons spacecraft successfully makes its long-awaited flyby of Pluto. In a great esteem to that interplanetary feat done by New Horizons, Google has decided to change over to an adorable doodle, which shows a cartoonish New Horizons zipping past the dwarf planet.
First the doodle simply shows the job that New Horizons set out to accomplish nine years back. On July 14, the spacecraft will past zoom past Pluto, making scientific measurements by taking images along the way. Second the cartoon approximation of Pluto boasts the same heart-shaped geographical feature that set in the internet.
Fans of the French Revolution shouldn’t worry, because Google isn’t completely ignoring Bastille Day in the name of Pluto. A separate doodle made specifically for the French holiday will be served up as well — but only to site visitors with a French IP address.
Size of the Pluto is determined very accurately
“Fasten your seat belts — New Horizons has arrived at the Pluto System.” Those were the words of Alan Stern, New Horizons’ principal investigator, at this morning’s briefing. After more than nine years and 3 billion miles, the spacecraft is inside the dwarf planet’s Hill sphere of influence and ready to take the first detailed measurements and photographs of Pluto. New Horizon is near to the Pluto, it is approaching Pluto by 31,000 miles per hour.
— Mark Showalter (@MarkRShowalter) July 14, 2015
The New Horizons team has already solved one of the biggest mysteries about Pluto: its size. This morning, NASA announced that Pluto is 2,370km (about 1,473 miles) in diameter, give or take 20m. That makes it ever so slightly bigger than Eris, a much darker and denser object that lives farther out in the Kuiper Belt. (Eris measures 2,336km in diameter.) Measurements of Pluto’s size before today were estimates at best, their accuracy skewed by the dwarf planet’s hazy atmosphere.
Size and Shape of the Pluto
Pluto has an icy polar cap, which is made of a mix of frozen methane and nitrogen gases. And while scientists had theorized that Pluto’s thin atmosphere contained nitrogen, we’ve already learned that the gas is escaping Pluto’s atmosphere much faster than expected. Pluto may have a subsurface ocean, which could be evidenced by plumes escaping the planet. Many features are still to hard to resolve. For instance, the true nature of the large, black equatorial region is still unknown. There’s also a mysteriously massive, white, heart-shaped region.