Keyword: pluto

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Rock strata dating suggests planetary orbital effects on climate

    02/26/2017 5:21:35 PM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 30 replies
    warrsupwiththat? ^ | / 2 days ago February 24, 2017 | Anthony Watts
    From the University of WisconsinFrom rocks in Colorado, evidence of a ‘chaotic solar system’Plumbing a 90 million-year-old layer cake of sedimentary rock in Colorado, a team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Northwestern University has found evidence confirming a critical theory of how the planets in our solar system behave in their orbits around the sun.Alternating layers of shale and limestone near Big Bend, Texas, characteristic of the rock laid down at the bottom of a shallow ocean during the late Cretaceous period. The rock holds definitive geologic evidence that the planets in our solar system behave...
  • PLUTO IS STILL LEGALLY A PLANET (WHENEVER IT PASSES OVER NEW MEXICO)

    02/03/2017 3:52:55 PM PST · by nickcarraway · 19 replies
    Nerdist ^ | FEBRUARY 2, 2017 | DERRICK ROSSIGNOL
    August 24, 2006 was a dark day for Pluto enthusiasts. It was on that day that the International Astronomical Union established three conditions a celestial body must meet in order to be considered a planet. A planet must orbit around the sun, it must be massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, and it must have “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit, which means, simply put, that it must have a certain amount of gravitational pull. Pluto does not meet the third condition, so once those rules were put in place, Pluto was demoted to “dwarf planet,” 75...
  • New Dwarf Planet Discovered Far Beyond Pluto's Orbit

    07/12/2016 8:03:24 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 7,560 replies
    space.com ^ | 07/11/2016
    Pluto isn't quite as lonely as scientists had thought. Astronomers have discovered another dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt, the ring of icy objects beyond Neptune. But this newfound world, dubbed 2015 RR245, is much more distant than Pluto, orbiting the sun once every 700 Earth years, scientists said. (Pluto completes one lap around the sun every 248 Earth years.) "The icy worlds beyond Neptune trace how the giant planets formed and then moved out from the sun," discovery team member Michele Bannister, of the University of Victoria in British Columbia, said in a statement. "They let us piece together...
  • Pluto spacecraft gets new mission

    07/03/2016 6:20:18 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 13 replies
    earthsky.org ^ | July 1, 2016 | Deborah Byrd
    In a late-day Friday announcement on July 1, 2016, NASA said that the first-ever spacecraft to visit the dwarf planet Pluto – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft – has received the nod to fly onward to an object deeper in the Kuiper Belt, known as 2014 MU69. This object had not even been discovered when New Horizons was launched in 2006. The spacecraft will rendezvous with 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019. ... In addition to the extension of the New Horizons mission, NASA determined that the Dawn spacecraft should remain at the dwarf planet Ceres, rather than changing course to...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Jupiter's Clouds from New Horizons

    06/26/2016 10:54:07 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies
    NASA ^ | Sunday, June 26, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The New Horizons spacecraft took some stunning images of Jupiter on its way out to Pluto. Famous for its Great Red Spot, Jupiter is also known for its regular, equatorial cloud bands, visible through even modest sized telescopes. The featured image, horizontally compressed, was taken in 2007 near Jupiter's terminator and shows the Jovian giant's wide diversity of cloud patterns. On the far left are clouds closest to Jupiter's South Pole. Here turbulent whirlpools and swirls are seen in a dark region, dubbed a belt, that rings the planet. Even light colored regions, called zones, show tremendous structure, complete...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Sputnik Planum vs. Krun Macula

    06/18/2016 12:30:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 3 replies
    NASA ^ | Saturday, June 18, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Pluto's pitted plains meet rugged highlands in this stunning view. On the left lies a southeastern extent of the bright region still informally known as Sputnik Planum. At right the edge of a dark region, informally Krun Macula, rises some 2.5 kilometers above the icy plains. Along the boundary, connected clusters of large pits form deep valleys, some over 40 kilometers long with shadowy floors. Nitrogen ice is likely responsible for the more reflective plains. The dark red color of the highlands is thought to be from complex compounds called tholins, a product of ultraviolet light induced chemical reactions...
  • Vanity: RoKu users, a new 'channel' has appeared

    06/11/2016 6:58:15 AM PDT · by V K Lee · 29 replies
    Vanity: RoKu users, a new 'channel' has appeared titled "PLUTO" which features a number of substation channels containing news, old movies, children's cartoons (Betty Boop; a short lived tv series, The Invisible Man; classic drive in movie channel. Competition on the air waves
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto at Night

    06/09/2016 2:44:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, June 09, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The night side of Pluto spans this shadowy scene. The spacebased view with the Sun behind the distant world was captured by New Horizons last July. The spacecraft was at a range of over 21,000 kilometers, about 19 minutes after its closest approach. A denizen of the Kuiper Belt in dramatic silhouette, the image also reveals Pluto's tenuous, surprisingly complex layers of hazy atmosphere. The crescent twilight landscape near the top of the frame includes southern areas of nitrogen ice plains informally known as Sputnik Planum and rugged mountains of water-ice in the Norgay Montes.
  • Pluto's Moon Coated in Nearly Pure Water Ice

    05/09/2016 11:57:59 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 29 replies
    Discovered in June 2005, Pluto’s outermost moon Hydra is thought to have formed four billion years ago during a massive impact event that created Pluto and Charon. Despite its age, this 31-mile-wide moon appeared remarkably clean and bright in New Horizons images during the spacecraft’s historic close pass through the Pluto system in July 2015. Scientists’ initial speculation was proved right when data from the spacecraft was analyzed and revealed that Hydra, like its name [??], is covered in nearly pure water ice. Measured with the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array (LEISA) on New Horizons’ Ralph instrument, the spectral signature...
  • New Horizons sets sights on its next target, a mysterious object at solar system's edge

    05/06/2016 6:37:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    Known as 2014 MU69, the object is thought to be unchanged since the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.... ... Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel submitted plans last month to NASA to fly past the relatively tiny chunk of icy matter on New Year's Day 2019. If NASA approves it, the extended New Horizon mission could give a close-up view of what has so far only appeared to scientists as a faint dot of light. ... The object is in a 300-year orbit around the sun in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond...
  • Scientists Assemble Fresh Global Map of Pluto Comprising Sharpest Flyby Images

    05/04/2016 11:33:33 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 8 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 5/1/16 | Ken Kremer
    The science team leading NASA’s New Horizons mission that unveiled the true nature of Pluto’s long hidden looks during the history making maiden close encounter last July, have published a fresh global map that offers the sharpest and most spectacular glimpse yet of the mysterious, icy world. The newly updated global Pluto map is comprised of all the highest resolution images transmitted back to Earth thus far and provides the best perspective to date. Click on the lead image above to enjoy Pluto revealed at its finest thus far. Click on this link to view the highest resolution version. Prior...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Moon over Makemake

    04/30/2016 2:03:40 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    NASA ^ | Saturday, April 30, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Makemake, second brightest dwarf planet of the Kuiper belt, has a moon. Nicknamed MK2, Makemake's moon reflects sunlight with a charcoal-dark surface, about 1,300 times fainter than its parent body. Still, it was spotted in Hubble Space Telescope observations intended to search for faint companions with the same technique used to find the small satellites of Pluto. Just as for Pluto and its satellites, further observations of Makemake and orbiting moon will measure the system's mass and density and allow a broader understanding of the distant worlds. About 160 kilometers (100 miles) across compared to Makemake's 1,400 kilometer diameter,...
  • Planet Nine's profile fleshed out

    04/09/2016 7:29:13 PM PDT · by JimSEA · 52 replies
    BBC ^ | 4/8/2916 | Paul Rincon
    In January, researchers at Caltech in the US suggested a large, additional planet might be lurking in the icy outer reaches of the Solar System. Now, a team at the University of Bern in Switzerland has worked out what they say are upper and lower limits on how big, bright and cold it might be. The study has been accepted by the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. Prof Mike Brown and Dr Konstantin Batygin made their case for the existence of a ninth planet in our Solar System orbiting far beyond even the dwarf world Pluto. There are no direct observations...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto's Bladed Terrain in 3D

    04/02/2016 12:31:05 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | Saturday, April 02, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Get out your red/blue glasses and gaze across a mountainous region informally known as Tartarus Dorsa. This scene sprawls some 300 kilometers (about 180 miles) across the Plutonian landscape. The color anaglyph creates a stereo view by combining parts of two images taken about 14 minutes apart during the New Horizons historic flyby of Pluto last July. Along with shadows near the terminator, or line between Pluto's dim day and night, the 3D perspective emphasizes the alignment of narrow, steep ridges. The region's remarkable bladed landforms typically extend 500 meters high and are 3 to 5 kilometers apart. Referring...
  • Ice volcanoes spotted on Pluto, suggest internal heat source

    03/18/2016 11:32:38 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 41 replies
    Science.com ^ | 9 Nov, 2015 | Eric Hand
    NATIONAL HARBOR, MARYLAND—Researchers on NASA’s New Horizons mission have discovered evidence on Pluto for what appears to be two cryovolcanoes—volcanoes built out of frozen ice that once oozed molten ice from the inside of the dwarf planet. The discovery points to an internal heat source that, at some point in Pluto’s past, drove the melting of interior reservoirs of volatile ices, such as nitrogen and methane, that then erupted at the surface. It also suggests that the cryovolcanoes were a way for Pluto to periodically rejuvenate surface supplies of these volatile ices, which sublimate into the thin atmosphere and are...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Northern Pluto

    02/26/2016 11:56:50 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 19 replies
    NASA ^ | February 27, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Gaze across the frozen canyons of northern Pluto in this contrast enhanced color scene, imaged last July by the New Horizons spacecraft. Currently known as Lowell Regio, the region has been informally named for Percival Lowell, founder of the Lowell Observatory. Also famous for his speculation that there were canals on Mars, in 1906 Lowell started the search that ultimately led to Pluto's discovery. Pluto's North Pole itself is above and left of center in the the frame. The pale bluish floor of the broad canyon on the left is about 70 kilometers (45 miles) wide, running vertically toward...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Flying Over Pluto's Moon Charon

    02/22/2016 9:03:11 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | February 22, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Given some poetic license, there is now scientific evidence that hell has frozen over. To start, Greek mythology holds that Charon is the ferryman of the underworld. Next, recent analysis of data taken by the robotic New Horizons spacecraft that shot past Charon -- the namesake that is the largest moon of Pluto -- in July now indicates that the cause of the huge chasm that runs across the 1200-km moon was that a huge internal sea froze. And since water expands when it freezes, the already hardened outer crust could not contain it and cracked. To better picture...
  • Pluto’s Mysterious, Floating Hills

    02/05/2016 7:38:13 PM PST · by MtnClimber · 22 replies
    NASA ^ | 4 Feb, 2016 | NASA
    The nitrogen ice glaciers on Pluto appear to carry an intriguing cargo: numerous, isolated hills that may be fragments of water ice from Pluto's surrounding uplands. These hills individually measure one to several miles or kilometers across, according to images and data from NASA's New Horizons mission. The hills, which are in the vast ice plain informally named Sputnik Planum within Pluto's 'heart,' are likely miniature versions of the larger, jumbled mountains on Sputnik Planum's western border. They are yet another example of Pluto's fascinating and abundant geological activity. Because water ice is less dense than nitrogen-dominated ice, scientists believe...
  • Pluto is covered in a lot of frozen water

    01/30/2016 6:05:47 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 22 replies
    CNN ^ | Jareen Imam,
    Pluto has way more frozen water than scientists originally thought. The dwarf planet is coated with a large amount of ice, according to a new map using previously collected data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft. This map is more sensitive than an earlier version that was created using data by New Horizons' historic fly by in 2015. The previous map was at a disadvantage because water ice can be easily masked by frozen methane. So it only showed areas with an especially large amount of frozen water. A new method, which involved NASA stitching together two infrared images captured by...
  • There's a ninth planet in our solar system - we just can't see it yet, study says

    01/20/2016 1:43:51 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 39 replies
    l a times ^ | 01/20/2016 | amina khan
    Scientists have been wondering whether a "Planet X" exists in the dim regions far beyond the known planets, but it has remained largely speculative.... That started to change in March 2014, when a pair of astronomers announced that they’d discovered a brand-new dwarf planet, 2012 VP113, beyond the well-populated edge of the Kuiper belt, whose main mass stretches from Neptune’s orbit around 30 astronomical units (or 30 times the Earth-Sun distance) out to 50 astronomical units. It wasn’t the only such object: Sedna, a 600-mile-wide rock discovered in 2003, also boasted this far-out orbit, and it seemed to be making...