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Voyager3's avatar

So long, and thanks for all the pics!

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Leaving Pluto system. Transmitting final photograph.

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One might ask: are Pluto and Neptune ever going to collide? Their orbits cross, after all. Well, not in our lifetime, for sure. For one, when Pluto is in its perihelion, it's also at the highest point above the ecliptic, that is, the plane in which the planets orbit, corresponding to the solar equator. Further more, Pluto and Neptune have a 2:3 orbital resonance (ok, one last time), which means that for every two Pluto orbits, Neptune finishes three. As such they'll never run into each other. At least not for the next 20 million years. Beyond that, the perturbations that influence Pluto's orbit over millions of years will accumulate enough to render our models unreliable. 

And with this parting shot of Pluto, taken, of course, by New Horizons, I leave you. I had a great time posting these things and I hope you've learned something from what I've written here. 
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morbiusx33's avatar
Awesome technical accomplishment NASA!
e-r-k's avatar
Thanks for posting all this! :)
Voyager3's avatar