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Ep. 24, Page 29
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Comic 1800 - Ep. 24, Page 29

21st Jan 2015, 12:53 AM in Episode 24 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 21st Jan 2015, 12:53 AM edit delete
Dawn spacecraft gets an eyeful of dwarf planet Ceres (BBC) - We've got a little, low-resolution animation of the dwarf planet Ceres, at 950 km in diameter the largest object in the asteroid belt, rotating as seen from a distance of a mere 400,000 km—a little more than the average distance from Earth to the Moon—by NASA's Dawn space probe on its approach. No man-made craft has ever visited a dwarf planet, so these are already just about the best views we've ever had of Ceres (Hubble's are fractionally better but still really blurry) but that's due to change with Dawn reaching Ceres at the end of the month (and in July the New Horizons craft will get to that demoted planet, the dwarf planet Pluto!). The plan is for Dawn, once in orbit around Ceres, to study it for 16 months, then to end its mission by, well, just shutting down and staying in orbit around Ceres, a little man-made moon for the giant asteroid. Among other things, Dawn will be trying to find out if there is a "liquid ocean of water" inside Ceres. Dawn "has lost two of the four reaction wheels it uses for fine-pointing," which means it has to spend unplanned fuel to orient itself, but it sounds as though its mission controllers are still reasonably confident about achieving their main objectives at Ceres.


moizmad 21st Jan 2015, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Selenis prepares to throw a stun grenade...
smbhax 22nd Jan 2015, 7:05 AM edit delete reply
Yeah the watercolor ended up looking a bit like smoke there...didn't really mean it to. Might be clearer in the next page, although probably not much >_>