New Horizons Observations Reveal Unexplored Space Environment

Posted: Apr 6 2016, 6:13am CDT | by , Updated: Apr 6 2016, 7:36am CDT, in News | Latest Science News

New Horizons Observations Give Us A Peek Into Unexplored Space Environment
Space environment data collected by New Horizons over a billion miles of its journey to Pluto will play a key role in testing and improving models of the space environment throughout the solar system. This visualization is one example of such a model: It shows the simulated space environment out to Pluto a few months before New Horizons’ closest approach. Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio, SWRC and the CCMC, Enlil and Dusan Odstrcil (GMU)
  • Path of New Horizons up to 2015, as well as the current direction of the two Voyager spacecraft– which are currently at three or four times New Horizons’ distance from sun.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft lent us vital clues about the gaps in our knowledge regarding the solar system and its phenomena. NASA’s New Horizons data provide new glimpses of the space environment of the outer solar system.

When NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sped past Pluto last year, it took some close-up footage of the planet. Novel insights were gained as regards its terrain, makeup and climate.

The wonderful pics that got taken lend us an insider’s view into the workings of this small world so far away from the sun. An entirely unexplored region got coverage and it was an addition to our knowledge base.

A very important gap in the data was filled via this trip by the spacecraft as it made its flyby close to Pluto. The sun’s influence on the planets of the solar system was gauged via this method.

One thing that especially got studied was the solar wind. Although space may seem to be mostly empty, in fact it is packed with all sorts of particles and radiation.

The sun is the source of the solar wind. Also space radiation was observed by means of sensitive instruments on board the New Horizons spacecraft. The topography of space was measured via this spacecraft which has managed to go out into the region which comprises the edges of our solar system.

Space radiation consists of very energetic particles. The hazardous phenomenon of cosmic rays are worth studying in depth. What their effects will be on the health and vital signs of astronauts that travel in space is of chief importance.

Around the edges of our solar system there lie some events and objects that have never been observed or noted down before. However, the New Horizons spacecraft has taken cognizance of them and this has served as an immense increase in our limited knowledge.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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