At approximately 9:50pm tonight, the New Horizons space probe will beam back the most detailed photos of Pluto that Earthlings have ever seen. If you want to be among the first to see (and share) these astonishing images, you need to bookmark the following websites and social media profiles. Only five more hours to go!
As you read this, NASA’s New Horizons space probe is hurtling towards Pluto at speeds of more than 31,000 miles per hour. The historic flyby is a culmination of nearly ten years of space travel covering more than five billion kilometres. Provided it doesn’t crash, we will soon be treated to astonishing close-ups of this icy dwarf planet and its moons.
Here’s where to see the photos as they appear in real time. [Note: Live coverage of the flyby is expected to take around 4.5 hours to reach Earth, so take plenty of caffeine!]
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has already shared a bunch of photos chronicling the space probe’s approach. Be sure to keep this page open in a tab from 9pm.
NASA TV airs video to the public 24/7, including live coverage of ongoing space missions. As you’d expect, the New Horizons space probe will feature heavily in tonight’s scheduled programming. Coverage will start at 9:30pm (AEST), followed by a briefing on the mission from 10-11pm. If you want to make your own screen grabs, this is your landing page.
We’re not sure how quickly this site plans to upload images, but rest assured, the cream of the crop will certainly appear here.
NASA’s Eyes on Pluto web app provides a “live” picture view of what New Horizons is doing and seeing right now. It’s available for Mac and PC computers.
It’s NASA’s official photo feed: of course Pluto images will be posted here.
If you want immediacy, Twitter is the place to be. The above Twitter profile fires out tweets directly from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s News Office.
Just like with the 1969 moon landing, Australia will be the first continent to receive images tonight; this time via CSIRO’s Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. We wouldn’t be surprised if it decided to share some Pluto selfies on Twitter, so follow them just in case.
And here is the first image released by NASA!
This image was captured from New Horizons about 16 hours before the moment of closest approach, approximately 766,000 kilometers from the surface. There will be plenty more to come.
Got any other Pluto sites to share? Provide the links in the comments section below!