What a great time to be alive, if you’re interested in space! Today, NASA successfully launched the New Horizons mission to Pluto. Apparently everything is working perfectly, and tonight at 11:00 p.m. EST, the spacecraft will whiz past the Moon. (That’s nine hours after launch. The Apollo spacecraft took three days to make the trip.) It’ll zip past Jupiter a year from now for a gravity boost, and should reach Pluto in 2015, nine years from now.
A few days ago, the Stardust mission returned to Earth bearing grains of Comet Wild 2’s dust in its Aerogel collectors.
A new movie by NASA and MIT scientists shows 10 years’ worth of X-ray images of the Milky Way, gathered by the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. Watch neutron stars and black holes light up for the camera!
And finally, the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, are coming to the IMAX screen in the Disney production, Roving Mars. See fantastic images of Mars on an IMAX screen near you, starting January 27.
It’s easy to become jaded, but this is really cool stuff!