Experience ‘Pluto time’ with new NASA tool

Washington, June 7 (IANS) Ever wondered how bright is the day on Pluto, which is around five billion km away from us? Now you can experience a Pluto day here on the Earth thanks to a new NASA tool.

In fact, for just a moment during dawn and dusk each day, the illumination on the Earth matches that of high noon on Pluto, according to the US space agency.

Scientists call this “Pluto Time”. If you go outside at this time on a clear day, the world around you will be as dim as the surface of Pluto.

It’s always ‘Pluto Time’ somewhere, and NASA wants to see your view, using a new interactive widget that provides the approximate time, based on your location.

The tool also allows you to set reminders for upcoming Pluto Times.

Go out and see what Pluto Time looks like! Take a photo during your Pluto Time, preferably with a local landmark, and share it on social media with #PlutoTime.

NASA would highlight some of the most interesting shots from around the world and combine your photos into a mosaic image of Pluto and its moons to be unveiled in August.

The event is built around the New Horizons spacecraft’s historic flyby of Pluto and its moons which will happen in mid-July, the US space agency said in a statement.

Following a more than nine-year journey, New Horizons probe will pass approximately 12,500 km above Pluto’s surface, reaching its closest approach on July 14.

The New Horizons mission is the first in NASA’s New Frontiers programme and the first mission to the Kuiper Belt, a gigantic zone of icy bodies and small planets orbiting beyond Neptune.

The lightweight New Horizons spacecraft will zip through the Pluto system at more than 50,000 km/h with the most powerful suite of science instruments ever sent on a first reconnaissance mission.

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