Skip to Main Content Griffith Observatory Home
Menu bar print

New Horizons reaches Pluto!
Events on July 14 and July 17, 2015

Illustration of New Horizons spacecraft at Pluto.
(Credit: NASA)

Celebrate this milestone at
Griffith Observatory,
or watch live on GriffithTV.

Talks throughout the day on July 14
Live coverage of the flyby (no real-time images)
Summary and recap by Griffith Observatory staff


What is New Horizons?

New Horizons is NASA's first mission to visit the dwarf planet Pluto. Because Pluto is so far from Earth, it has taken nearly 10 years for the spacecraft to reach its destination. It launched on Jan. 19, 2006, swung past Jupiter for a gravity boost in February, 2007, and is headed to Pluto, where it will conduct a reconnaissance flyby study of the dwarf planet and its moons this summer. The spacecraft's closest approach to Pluto occurs on July 14th. For more information, click here to visit NASA's website for New Horizons.

Observatory Schedule of Events
All events in the Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon theater

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 LIVE PLUTO FLYBY
1:00, 2:00, and 3:00 p.m. Twenty-minute talks on Pluto and New Horizons, presented hourly
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. NASA–TV coverage of the New Horizons flyby with commentary by Griffith Observatory staff
6:02 p.m. Signal from New Horizons confirms the spacecraft's safe passage through the Pluto system
7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Presentation by Griffith Observatory staff about the New Horizons mission and recap
of the evening's events (Streamed live on GriffithTV)
10:00 p.m. Observatory and Griffith Park close as usual
Friday, July 17, 2015 ALL PLUTO CONSIDERED
7:30 – 8:45 p.m. Griffith Observatory Curator Dr. Laura Danly and Griffith Observatory Director Dr. E.C. Krupp show the latest images of Pluto from New Horizons and illustrate Pluto's impact on culture from its discovery until now. (Streamed live on GriffithTV)

Everyone buying a ticket for the Samuel Oschin Planetarium on July 14, 2015, will receive a free commemorative Pluto button!

Timeline for New Horizons arrival at Pluto on July 14, 2015
All times are local Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

Advice for Visiting

  • We expect large crowds. Plan for traffic congestion and long walks from parking areas.
  • DO NOT bring personal telescopes or lawn chairs to the event.
  • The building, grounds, Café at the End of the Universe, and Stellar Emporium will be OPEN as usual.

An Amazing Prediction!

    Observatory Art Director Don Dixon, one of the world's foremost astronomical artists, painted an image of Pluto in 1979 for the cover of a book by Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh. It looks remarkably like the up-close photos of Pluto we are seeing from New Horizons.