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Postcards from Pluto

This is one of the coolest serendipitous things to come out of...

22 Sep 2014, 21:29 UTC
This is one of the coolest serendipitous things to come out of...
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This is one of the coolest serendipitous things to come out of the Hubble Space Telescope search for a post-Pluto encounter target for New Horizons. See the spiral little galaxy hiding in the background? That galaxy is on the other side of the Milky Way, invisible from the ground. However, because HST gives us such high resolution views of stars, we can see between the mess of stars that make up our galaxy, through the other side, and get this very rare view!
I’ll admit, the picture’s pretty lousy. To make our potential New Horizons objects come out brighter (you know, the point of these observations, not galaxy hunting), we had HST move at the rate we thought a possible object might move while the picture was being taken. Therefore, the stars are pretty streaky. Also no color. Sorry, we’ve got different priorities with our search (which is going well: we’re detecting KBOs and following up on the most-promising objects.)

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