Author Topic: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015  (Read 111430 times)

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #280 on: 07/15/2015 07:08 PM »
Oh perhaps this is the image....no idea. They keep cracking jokes and giggling.

Offline AJA

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #281 on: 07/15/2015 07:08 PM »
Charon's been observed to be active!
There are mountains in the Kuiper belt.

Observations of Hydra: 30% larger in one dimension. First multi-pixel image, so they're able to gauge size (as opposed to albedo assumption and gauging size from brightness)...

As soon as I type that, he talks about the albedo, and says that factoring in the range etc., that Hydra's made of water ice ... "which is cool!" <Laughter>

RALPH and LISA don't downlink today. Showing fail-safe data set.
CH4 on Pluto. (Me: If Elon's watching... how about Pluto ISRU?)
« Last Edit: 07/15/2015 07:11 PM by AJA »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #282 on: 07/15/2015 07:10 PM »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #283 on: 07/15/2015 07:12 PM »
Mass media will be thinking "we want cool images!" ;)


Offline AJA

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #285 on: 07/15/2015 07:15 PM »
They've been referring (informally) to the darkest area around Charon's north pole (yes, that one) as "Mordor"

A lot of geological description/characterisation. There might be some artefacts, which they'll process out later..

The canyon on the top right, is about 4-6 miles deep.
Higher resolution images expected... of said northern part.

----

Cutting to Pluto

They're calling the heart "Tombaugh Reggio(?)"
(That gets a standing ovation)
« Last Edit: 07/15/2015 07:21 PM by AJA »

Offline northenarc

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #286 on: 07/15/2015 07:18 PM »
 Canyon on Charon is 4-6 miles deep

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #287 on: 07/15/2015 07:20 PM »
Surface....

Offline AJA

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #288 on: 07/15/2015 07:24 PM »
That inset includes the heart, and surrounding areas.

Mountains up to 11k' high.

There are almost NO impact craters there.(!!!!)
Eyeballing it - surface is ~100 million years old.

Nitrogen, and other inorganics, as well as CH4 etc. - from the spectroscopy (surface). But based on the gravity, and the mechanical strength of these ices, the height observed isn't sustainable. So they suspect a base of water ice, with a coating of the above.

Until now, all these icy worlds have been observed around Giant planets. But not the case with Pluto.
So, clearly, you don't need tidal heating to have a young surface
"That's a really important discovery we made this morning."

Alan adds: Voyager 2 (Hallowed be thy name :P) saw similar things (lack of craters) on Triton. But they weren't able to rule out tidal heating in the case of Neptune-Triton.

Alan talking about a paper that him and Kelsey have submitted earlier (accepted TODAY :D)
Combined with the atmospheric loss measured... the veneer of N2, CH4 ices are sustainable (according to the model they postulated) only if they have cryovolcanoes, or geysers. So the observations they've made imply (preliminary) that these must exist. So they'll look for them, presumably.

Alan re: Tombaugh Reggio - saw it from 70 million miles away, and is really, really bright; and is the brightest, most distinguishing feature; and so it was a fitting feature to bear the name of Pluto's discoverer.
« Last Edit: 07/15/2015 07:30 PM by AJA »

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #289 on: 07/15/2015 07:29 PM »
So that's what we're getting today. More on Friday.

Offline AJA

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #290 on: 07/15/2015 07:35 PM »
On to questions:

Irene Klotz - Re: Charon's activism, and origins of the bodies.
Kathy: "Uh...Uhmm.. Uhh... I don't know yet!"
Proceeds to talk about the surprising lack of craters.
Another member on the panel (haven't been paying attention to names): Expect more images...don't want to speculate now. But there definitely must be a source of heat.

Freelancer:
Mountains look really big. Volcanoes, or tectonic?
"No idea at this point. We'd like to still get more data on distribution etc."

Sky&Telescope:
Large gash - churning/spinning inside? (Didn't get all of this)
"We'll need better images, and crater counting."

Sky News: "I'd like to ask you a question with no scientific words in it." (#Facepalm)
"Did you see something wonderful?"
Alan:" Ya think?" What I wrote down on a piece of paper and put in a Manila folder 20 years ago, has been proved right.

Question regarding dark regions:
Waiting on spectroscopic information.
Alan: Waiting on stereo data as well... for topographic reconstruction.

Wired:
What besides tidal energy could be powering active geology?
"Let me think." Proceeds to postulate on the spot..
1. Radioactive heat... (All bodies generally have radioactive
2. Body could probably store heat of formation for a really long period of time. Maybe there's an ocean (implied sub-surface) that's freezing and the heat released from it, is melting the crust..
Alan: The double tidally locked system implies there isn't really tidal stressing. (AIUI)

Question: Don't hear any balloons popping today. Contrasts it with Mariner.
Alan disagrees with premise of the question. Charon's been very surprising.
Finding mountain ranges like the Rockies is also "balloon popping"
"I would never have believed that the first picture we get wouldn't have an impact crater"


Emily: Can you read the spectrum (squiggles)? Also, would Charon's forming impact have happened later than expected
Cyan line almost goes down to zero. Red terrain probably has something that scatters light more. Huge amount of data yet to be analysed.

Keith Cowing: What specificity will you get from RALPH and ALICE? Can you pinpoint the chemicals (beyond CH4)
Alan: Right now, the data is binned. So they'll wait for some more time for spatial resolution.
On to Will for the spectral resolution. Lot of chemicals in this wavelength range that have signatures in this region. Mixed bag. (e.g. Argon isn't going to be noticed in the surface for instance, but ALICE might pick it up in the atmosphere)
They could distinguish between Methane, Ethane, Propane, polycylic hydrocarbons etc.
Kathy adds there are inorganic chemicals too.
Also, they can ID things not only with the peaks, but also the slopes.
« Last Edit: 07/15/2015 07:46 PM by AJA »

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Offline mrhuggy

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #292 on: 07/15/2015 07:40 PM »
Chris Hugman
mr.huggy.net

Offline triddirt

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #293 on: 07/15/2015 07:44 PM »
Did folks catch this cool video of the surface inset on yesterdays full image

Offline AJA

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #294 on: 07/15/2015 07:56 PM »
Social media questions now:

What will this data tell us about our own planet
Alan: Earth Moon system (formation etc.)
Pluto's atmospheric escape is also hydrodynamic and unique in that aspect...in that it's not happening at any other celestial body.

What percentage of Pluto will be imaged?
Kathy: All the illuminated part. 6.4 days rotational period.
They're going to use Charon-shine to image the winter pole of Pluto.
Cautions: Not to get your hopes up too much on Charon-shine...very feeble, plus looking in the direction of the sun.

How has Pluto been able to maintain the geological activity for this long?
Mentions the same radioactivity as well as ocean freezing thing. Naive (in retrospect) expectation was that a world of this size would not retain heat this long.

Back to accredited media:

Discover Magazine
Wondering about the diversity of the terrain... what are the questions that will be raised? Something looks hammocky, something looks like a fault. What are you going to be investigating?
"Those are good ones.", "Yeah..good job" :D

Alan Boyle:
Do you see a pattern? In the formation? Are those mountains at Tombaugh Reggio?
"These are right at the base of the heart, near the whale... which is the Cthulu Reggio now...informally.." We'd have to see more data

(didn't get affiliation, but cool question:) Could there be lava tubes? (referring to ridges)
Some of that looks like lava flows, but on a much larger scale.

The Irish guy :P: Your findings today...do they possibly indicate water worlds (if extrapolated to the extreme)?
Been thinking of these mid size bodies as candy coated, mucky mucky etc. Would need more data.


New Scientist:
What about analogs, and familiar touchstones...comparing these images of these two bodies to others.
There's some. Charon resembles a couple of Uranus' moons.
Kathy adds that Pluto's so diverse that they'll probably end up pulling it apart, and compare at a feature level.

Tariq Malik (Space.com):
How does it feel to get these images, and with noticeable improvement?
Alan: "It feels terrible. There's a lot of depression in the science team. We don't understand anything. We're all thinking of catching flights."
Alan: "There was a lot of excitement in the approach phase. I think I could characterise the mood in the four rooms where people are working... as bedlam." <Laughter>
"I don't think anyone would imagine that this would be this much of a toystore"
"This is what we came for."
Kathy: "This exceeds what we came for!"
<Applause>

Aviation Week:
Asks about the colour contrasts on Charon, and similar features/lack thereof on Pluto. (The colour pictures posted earlier were contrast stretched)
There are differences between the two bodies, and it's a puzzle.

---

And done for the day.

Next briefing from NASA HQ, 1300 hrs Eastern on Friday
« Last Edit: 07/15/2015 08:03 PM by AJA »

Offline saturnapollo

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #295 on: 07/15/2015 08:05 PM »
Quote
Mass media will be thinking "we want cool images!"

It's not just the mass media - I'm looking forward to seeing - I would call them interesting - photos!

Keith


Offline Lee Jay

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #296 on: 07/15/2015 08:07 PM »
Someone should check this.

To get a resolution of 1km at Pluto's distance from the Earth, we'd need an optical telescope about the diameter of Earth's moon.

I think.

Which is why we send probes with small telescopes a bit closer instead.
« Last Edit: 07/15/2015 08:11 PM by Lee Jay »

Offline TheFallen

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #297 on: 07/15/2015 08:17 PM »
Quote
Mass media will be thinking "we want cool images!"

I'm guilty of that sentiment too. I was moving around in my seat waiting for Stern and Co. to stop talking and show some images... (One eye-rolling comment was by that one scientist in charge of the Ralph camera who was describing the instrument and its capabilities--only to mention that its data wasn't even on the ground yet)

And even then, the only pic that really wowed me was the photo of Charon. Can't wait till that Pluto mosaic is complete!
« Last Edit: 07/15/2015 08:18 PM by TheFallen »

Offline as58

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #298 on: 07/15/2015 08:21 PM »
Someone should check this.

To get a resolution of 1km at Pluto's distance from the Earth, we'd need an optical telescope about the diameter of Earth's moon.

I think.

Which is why we send probes with small telescopes a bit closer instead.

I think you've made a slight overestimation of the needed telescope size by a factor of 1000.

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #299 on: 07/15/2015 08:24 PM »
Someone should check this.

To get a resolution of 1km at Pluto's distance from the Earth, we'd need an optical telescope about the diameter of Earth's moon.

I think.

Which is why we send probes with small telescopes a bit closer instead.

I think you've made a slight overestimation of the needed telescope size by a factor of 1000.

Oops.

There are three places to do that - meters/kilometers (distance and diameter) and nanometers/micrometers (wavelength).  Mine was the former (diameter - meters, not kilometers).

Thanks.

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