Sunday, September 13, 2015

Studying reclassified "dwarf planet" Pluto

Earth to Pluto (and moons) size
comparison (not a real planet)
"NASA released a new set of high quality images Thursday afternoon of the dwarf planet Pluto. One image shows Pluto's heart shaped region covered in ice. All of these pictures are taken by New Horizons (spacecraft) during its Pluto pass-by in July.

The craft launched in 2006 and took more than nine years to reach Pluto.This is one last look back at Pluto's darkside as the spacecraft jetted off into a distant part of our solar system. New Horizons is currently 43 million miles past Pluto."

Related, newsABC 7 News Bay Area/Science/Associated Press/LA Blake, 7/15/15, .... "The pictures showed ice mountains on Pluto about as high as the Rockies and chasms on its big moon Charon that appear six times deeper than the Grand Canyon.  Scientists said the peaks appeared to be a mere 100 million years old. Pluto itself is 4.5 billion years old.  ....  The $720 million mission makes the United States the only country in the world to visit every planet in the solar system, including Pluto, which has been demoted from "planet" status since New Horizons took off."

(turn up sound).  "NASA's stunning new Pluto images show atmospheric haze and glaciers on the dwarf planet." 

Related, backgroundThe Altantic/Alan Taylor, 7/13/15. "The voyage of New Horizons: Jupiter, Pluto, and Beyond." "After traveling nearly 3 billion miles over the past nine and a half years, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is within hours of its rendezvous with Pluto. Back in 2006, when the space probe was launched, Pluto was classified as the ninth planet in the solar system, and was known to have three moons. During the long journey to this distant icy world, Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet, one of many smaller bodies orbiting the sun, and another two moons were discovered. In 2007, New Horizons flew past Jupiter and its moons on the way to Pluto, capturing many spectacular images. On the morning of July 14, 2015 (Earth time, Western Hemisphere), New Horizons will speed past the Pluto system at about 9 miles (14 kilometers) per second, making as many observations as possible. .." 

Note photograph/graphic from the related ABC 7 article. "New Horizons has measured Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, and NASA created this image to demonstrate how big they are compared to Earth. (NASA)."

Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Kathy Meeh said...

And NIMBIES would reclassify Pacifica "not a city", due to the "dwarf economy" they caused.