Tag Archives: Dawn

Free Astronomy Magazine – July-August 2015 Issue Available For Reading And Download

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

2015july18_freeastro_coverThe most recent issue of Free Astronomy Magazine (July-August, 2015) is available for your reading and downloading pleasure at www.astropublishing.com (click the link to go directly to the issue).

Free Astronomy Magazine was featured as the first of a (to be) series of articles on great free online content for amateur astronomers (see A Universe Of Free Resources Part 1) and the May-June issue announcement was also posted recently on the CNYO website.

The content, as usual, is varied and well-presented. From our own backyard (Dawn @ Ceres), out to the neighbor’s place (51 Pegasi B), to all the way into the next town (the gigantic halo discovered around the Andromeda Galaxy), the issue is full of great, highly informative articles (the same kinds of informative and science-filled articles you’d expect from… more expensive providers).

You can find previous Free Astronomy Magazine issues by checking out our Free Astronomy Magazine Category (or look under the Education link in our menu).

For those wanting a quick look at what this issue has to offer, the Table of Contents is reproduced below.

July-August 2015

The web browser-readable version of the magazine can be found here:


For those who want to jump right to the PDF download (50 MB), Click HERE.


Two New Horizons/Pluto Articles Available On syracuse.com

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

nh-pluto-7-11-15-1024x1024With the New Horizons flyby of Pluto occurring on July 14th, two articles on the syracuse.com website have helped bring the news to a Central New York focus.

The first – Pluto flyby: New Horizons probe sends stunning photos as it nears a close encounter” – was posted very early this morning and is from Michigan meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.

The second (posted just in time for morning coffee) – “Pluto mission: NASA spacecraft New Horizons will have close encounter this week” – is from significantly closer to home by Glenn Coin (who also helped to keep much of CNY in the loop with his articles about potential aurora activity a few weeks past. The CNYO website had 1,453 hits that day because of it!).

While Torregrossa’s article sticks close to some specifics about the surface features on Pluto now coming into increasingly finer detail, Glenn’s is full of some very handy comparisons to put the whole flyby into a bit more perspective as we sit and wait for better images (such as “The spacecraft will be as close to Pluto as New York is to South Africa.“ and “It’s only 1,500 miles in diameter — the distance from New York City to Dallas — but it has five moons.” – And some handy further reading links are included as well).

Kudos to Glenn, Mark, and syracuse.com for providing some local color to the *other* great NASA (dwarf) planet mission happening this year. CNYO already has a few lectures scheduled in the Fall where both the New Horizons/Pluto and Dawn @ Ceres missions will be presented. Stay tuned for further announcements!

NASA News Digest: Space Science For 27 January – 9 February 2014 – Dwarf Planet-Centric!

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

The NASA News service provides up-to-date announcements of NASA policy, news events, and space science. A recent selection of space science articles are provided below, including direct links to the full announcements. Those interested in receiving these news announcements directly from NASA can subscribe to their service by sending an email to:


NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Captures Best-Ever View Of Dwarf Planet

RELEASE 15-014 (Click here for the full article) – 27 January 2015

2015feb9_15_014NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has returned the sharpest images ever seen of the dwarf planet Ceres. The images were taken 147,000 miles (237,000 kilometers) from Ceres on Jan. 25, and represent a new milestone for a spacecraft that soon will become the first human-made probe to visit a dwarf planet.

“We know so little about our vast solar system, but thanks to economical missions like Dawn, those mysteries are being solved,” said Jim Green, Planetary Science Division Director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

At 43 pixels wide, the new images are more than 30 percent higher in resolution than those taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in 2003 and 2004 at a distance of over 150 million miles. The resolution is higher because Dawn is traveling through the solar system to Ceres, while Hubble remains fixed in Earth orbit. The new Dawn images come on the heels of initial navigation images taken Jan. 13 that reveal a white spot on the dwarf planet and the suggestion of craters. Hubble images also had glimpsed a white spot on the dwarf planet, but its nature is still unknown.

The new Dawn images are available online at: go.nasa.gov/1wyp0LA

To view the images taken by Hubble, visit: go.nasa.gov/1Ju41mf

More information about Dawn is available online at: www.nasa.gov/dawn

NASA Spacecraft Returns New Images Of Pluto En Route To Historic Encounter

RELEASE 15-018 (Click here for the full article) – 2 July 2014

2015feb9_15_018NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft returned its first new images of Pluto on Wednesday, as the probe closes in on the dwarf planet. Although still just a dot along with its largest moon, Charon, the images come on the 109th birthday of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the distant icy world in 1930.

“My dad would be thrilled with New Horizons,” said Clyde Tombaugh’s daughter Annette Tombaugh, of Las Cruces, New Mexico. “To actually see the planet that he had discovered, and find out more about it — to get to see the moons of Pluto– he would have been astounded. I’m sure it would have meant so much to him if he were still alive today.”

New Horizons was more than 126 million miles (nearly 203 million kilometers) away from Pluto when it began taking images. The new images, taken with New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27, are the first acquired during the spacecraft’s 2015 approach to the Pluto system, which culminates with a close flyby of Pluto and its moons on July 14.

To view the Pluto image online and see the mission timeline for upcoming images, visit: www.nasa.gov/newhorizons and pluto.jhuapl.edu