Styx Visit NASA
NASA's "Year of Pluto" includes a Day of Styx.
The rock vets paid a visit to the team behind the New Horizons voyage yesterday, just days before the unmanned craft is scheduled to make its long-awaited flyby past the dwarf planet Pluto. And this wasn't just any mere photo op either — as astronomy buffs know, Styx share a name with Pluto's smallest moon.
Among those on hand for the event was Dr. Mark Showalter, the SETI Institute scientist responsible for discovering Styx in 2012. "I wish Styx [had been] so easy to see from Hubble! Would have made our lives a lot easier," he joked, pointing out that while the moon — and the band — take their name from the mythological river between Earth and Hades, he's very much a fan. "When Pluto’s moon was named, it was for the river Styx," he added, "but no kidding, we really had you guys in mind, too."
Launched in January 2006, New Horizons has had an eventful voyage to Pluto, setting a record for the highest launch speed of a human-made object from Earth (36,373 mph) before swinging past Jupiter and gathering data about the planet and its moons. The craft is scheduled to begin its first flyby of Pluto on July 14, hopefully bringing new information about the dwarf planet's atmosphere, geology and interior makeup.
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