How We Got To Pluto In Less Than 10 Years

Gizmodo’s article on how NASA was able to get New Horizons to Pluto in less than 10 years is a fascinating read that I highly recommend.

Some key takeaways…

New Horizons had to travel an average of about a million miles a day, every day, for nearly 10 years to reach Pluto.

New Horizons was flung away from the Earth at solar system escape velocity, roughly 36,000 miles per hour.

New Horizons ten year, 3 billion-plus mile journey would be basically propulsion-free.

A massive gravity assist from Jupiter helped it reach the velocity necessary to achieve it’s goal.

New Horizons will scream past Pluto and eventually join Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in interstellar space.

NASA’s New Horizons mission is an amazing achievement for mankind and I can’t wait to see the images that it sends back when it makes it’s closest approach to Pluto on July 14th.

ISS Transit of Full Moon

Australian photographer Dylan O’Donnell captured a fantastic photograph of the International Space Station transiting last night’s full moon.

The ISS only passed over the moon for 0.33 seconds as it shoots by quite quickly. Knowing the second it would pass I fired a “burst” mode of exposures then crossed my fingers and hoped it would show up in review – and it did!

He waited 12 months for the conditions to be just right to capture this moment. So cool.

Full Moon Over Costa Rica

Beautiful Full Moon tonight in Playa Langosta, Costa Rica. If this keeps up I’m going to be able to get shots of each phase until the New Moon next week.

The photos of the Moon I’ve posted from Costa Rica have all been edited very quickly on my iPad. I plan on sorting through a large number of exposures and editing final versions in Lightroom when I return home.

Almost Full

One of the highlights of my latest trip to Costa Rica has been the clear sky opportunities to photograph the Moon. Last night’s Waxing Gibbous Moon was beautiful and I’m hoping I get a window of opportunity on Thursday for the Full Moon. Pura Vida!

Three Moons are Better than One

Amazing photograph from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft taken on March 25, 2015 showing a Triple Crescent featuring three of Saturn’s moons: Titan, Mimas and Rhea.

While we have a single lonely natural satellite, Saturn has a grand total of 62. This includes Titan, which is actually larger than the planet Mercury. Next time you look up and see the Moon, imagine what it would look like if we had as many moons as Saturn.