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ABC of Astronomy – E Is for Ecliptic
Star maps show you where the ecliptic is. That's because it's where you find the planets and the zodiac constellations. But what is the ecliptic plane on which the planets orbit? What shape are their orbits, and what do we mean by an eccentric orbit?
*New target for New Horizons*
Nasa has chosen the next target for New Horizons, now that it's completed its flyby of Pluto. The team – with the assistance of the Hubble Space Telescope – have spent quite some time looking for suitable targets. The one they've chosen is 2014 MU69, which was discovered last year by the HST in a preliminary survey to find another Kuiper Belt object to visit. Things are pretty spread out in the Kuiper Belt and it would be over three years before New Horizons encounters 2014 MU69. It's about a billion and a half km away from Pluto.
*Voyager 1 – 36 years on*
On September 5, 1977 Voyager 1 was launched. This was the story of Voyager 1's primary mission and beyond: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art182154.asp and here is more about the more recent adventures as the first starship: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183205.asp
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Mona Evans, Astronomy Editor
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