On the coast of Patagonia, astronomer Alan Stern hid a semitrailer to block a telescope from the wind. There is not much after midnight on July 17 – the southern tip of the season – and 40 mph gusts rush through the landscape.

Stern, the head of the New Horizons mission to visit NASA’s Pluto, is one of the 56 scientists with twelve small telescopes scattered over 30 miles on the Atlantic coast of Argentina. Some of the windbreaks that make telescopes shake at a height of 15 feet high steel tarp, built with supplies switched by local hardware stores. Some get shelter in natural alcoves on the beach.

“The conditions do not like the observation,” Stern said. But above, the sky is clear.

After traveling 4 billion miles, New Horizons will use the target, at least 20 miles maximum, traveling 8 miles per second. (Click to expand)

Roen Kelly / Discover

Excavations in heaven: the shadow of 14 miles around the world, 4 billion miles, the discovery just a few years before. When these ancient objects are in front of the star in the background, starlight stars – like a mini eclipse – so that astronomers can enjoy the mystery, form and reflection of the mysterious world.

Data can tell the New Horizons team how to set up the spacecraft and change the camera when it comes to next year. The most important thing is that light insertion can reveal debris causing the spacecraft.

But when shooting stars in the dark is not easy. Shadow is located over Patagonia at 60.000 mph and the team has failed when two attempts before seeing this shadow are called occultation. “This is the last chance,” Stern said.

The misery is gone. Five of the 24 telescopes saw flash stars flashing like a grain of old, releasing details that they did not know before.

On July 17, 2017, astronomers traced the tiny telescope cleavage outside Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina. The city is dubbed “Wind Wind”. The group, led by Marc Buie of the Southwest Research Institute and his father’s New Horizons, should use SUVs and large trucks as windbreaks for stable instruments. But at that time, five telescopes were watching the MU69 2014 slope ahead of the distant stars.

Now, it is also beyond the eighth and a billion miles beyond Pluto – the most distant object found – the little prince of the planet is ready to close. The tiny red face, dubbed the 2014 MU69, is about a hundred kilometers long, the size of the red Manhattan size. On December 31, 2018, astronomer soldiers will calculate here for a few hours when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sways about 8 miles per second.

“You’ve been flown 400 degrees above zero for all this time, to be a good legacy that is sustained since the birth of the domestic solar system,” said Stern’s object for 4 billion years. “No one has ever been a target like this.”

At the end of the summer, astronomers are trying to triple to capture smaller shadows from a distant world because it can spread throughout our planet, such as a small eclipse, with 60,000 miles per hour. On June 3, he sent a telescope on the site in Africa and South America, but never seen a wide range of 14 to 25 miles.

On July 10, scientists pursued a shadow in the South Pacific on NASA’s SOFIA Boeing 747, which had a Hubble-sized telescope. They were found within 1 mile and second from the time and place they had planned, but were still missing. But this effort, combined with space telescope observation, permits the prophecy. In the third and final occasions, the MU69 team took on MU. The result now helps keep track of the New Horizons path.

Meeting with neighbors

Over the last century, our solar system has been divided into two groups: the terrestrial planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars – and the gigantic outer world. Then Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930. It is small and it is only in the periphery of the solar system.

Scientists are suspicious of extinction like this and some have predicted that it is part of the new third-planet empire. But Tombaugh has been searching for a year and never found another Pluto.


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