(The Gist of Science Reporter) The Seven Sisters [MAY-2019]

(The Gist of Science Reporter) The Seven Sisters [MAY-2019]

The Seven Sisters

  • Now Horizons' seven scientific systems (payload) display a remarkable miniaturisation: collectively drawing power as low as 28 watts, the instruments were specially designed for the frigid temperatures that the craft would encounter at Pluto and beyond.
  • Alice: A highly sensitive imaging spectrometer, which is capable of not only separating the light into its constituent wavelengths (like a prism) but also capturing images of the target at each wavelength Alice gave us some spectacular details of Piuto’s composition.
  • Ratph-LEISA: Operates as the main “eyes" of the craft with a resolution ten times better than the human eye can see. It is made up of three black-and white and four colour sensors encapsulated inside the Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC}. with LEISA operating as the infrared compositional mapping spectrometer. While MVIC beamed stunning images of Pluto and Ultima Thule at increasing wavelengths, LEISA analysed the chemical spectrum of Pluto and its moons.
  • REX: The Radio Science Experiment consists of a small printed circuit board containing sophisticated signal-processing electronics Integrated into the Now Horizons telecommunications system. REX was indispensable to ground-based scientists in analysing Pluto’s atmosphere and determine its mass.
  • LORRI: The Long-range reconnaissance imager is a digital camera fitted with a large telephoto telescope. The high-res images from this camera gave scientists an unprecedented view of the details of Pluto's surface. Some pictures even surpassed the quality beamed by the Hubble Telescope. What stands out is its robustness in the frigid environs of the Kuiper belt.
  • SWAP: Solar Wind Around Pluto is a large aperture instrument designed to measure the interaction of solar winds on Pluto, Capable of minute energy measurements
    (up to 6 keV), the device can detect slight changes in solar wind energy around Pluto.
  • PEPSI: The Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science investigation is a compact directional energetic particle spectrometer capable of detecting the particles that escape Pluto’s atmosphere. These particles pick up the solar energy and transform into charged ions which are carried by solar winds. Working in tandem with SWAP the two systems have provided tremendous inputs to scientists about the nature of Pluto's atmosphere.
  • 5DC: Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter was designed by undergrads at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The instrument keeps a tab on the number of dust particles originating from collisions of space objects all along the long journey.   

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Courtesy: Science Reporter