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News that the New Horizons space probe is heading towards the outer part of the solar system

News that the New Horizons space probe is heading towards the outer part of the solar system

Yesterday we wrote about the (potentially) good news related to NASA Voyager 1. More or less at the same time an update to New Horizons space probe It is known to fly by the dwarf planet Pluto in 2015 as well Thanks to the hardware It is currently outdated but still manages the onboard systems properly. After Pluto in the end I headed towards Kuiper belt To investigate the object that was initially called Ultima Thule and then renamed Arrokoth.

Despite launching in 2006 and achieving key objectives, the mission is ongoing and will focus on studying solar physics, but there could be further innovations thanks to the use of increasingly advanced instruments including a new space telescope and a new ground-based telescope. Standing telescope. Thanks to the use of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), the mission can continue for some time.

News about the New Horizons probe

second What has been reported And Alan Stern (Astronomer and mission creator, new Horizons It is in good condition and is located approximately 60 km away. With instruments on board that are still active, data about the heliosphere is constantly being collected, providing useful information for scientists studying the solar system (especially the outer regions).

new Horizons

Stern himself wrote that I Data collected by the instrument that measures Dust particles Exists in space and is called Student dust meter (SDC), has been listed In the studio By title New Horizons Venetia Burney student dust counter observes higher-than-expected fluxes approaching 60 AU. The data will show much more dust than initially expected, which could lead to the hypothesis of a larger Kuiper Belt extension or the existence of a second Kuiper Belt.

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new Horizons

Both hypotheses may also appear to be correct For data collected from Earth With other systems. However, which conclusion is correct or whether there is another possible version is still under study and we will have to wait for more data.

The team that follows up New Horizons space probe Suggest it NASA To continue searching for objects in the Kuiper Belt, the probe will likely be programmed to do so flew by Between the second half of the twenties and thirties, it will also enter the pre-heliosphere and thus interstellar space. The agency has not yet approved the proposal (but it may be accepted in the future).

new Horizons

The combination of data from the Japanese Subaru Telescope with data from the Vera Rubin Observatory (starting in 2025) and finally with the future Romanian space telescope will provide a list of objects that can be flown over new HorizonsEven if the research is not without difficulties despite the new tools.

strict indicates how Space probe It still has fuel and power autonomy until at least 2040, allowing the mission to be extended. An updated version of the management software will also be uploaded in the coming months new Horizons Which should make it possible to reduce the occurrence of errors and increase its independence as much as possible.