Author Topic: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015  (Read 112001 times)

Offline Prober

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #360 on: 07/17/2015 05:28 PM »
good speaker
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Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #361 on: 07/17/2015 05:29 PM »
NASA presser:

In the latest data from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, a new close-up image of Pluto reveals a vast, craterless plain that appears to be no more than 100 million years old, and is possibly still being shaped by geologic processes. This frozen region is north of Pluto’s icy mountains, in the center-left of the heart feature, informally named “Tombaugh Regio” (Tombaugh Region) after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto in 1930.

“This terrain is not easy to explain,” said Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. “The discovery of vast, craterless, very young plains on Pluto exceeds all pre-flyby expectations.”

This fascinating icy plains region -- resembling frozen mud cracks on Earth -- has been informally named “Sputnik Planum” (Sputnik Plain) after the Earth’s first artificial satellite. It has a broken surface of irregularly-shaped segments, roughly 12 miles (20 kilometers) across, bordered by what appear to be shallow troughs. Some of these troughs have darker material within them, while others are traced by clumps of hills that appear to rise above the surrounding terrain. Elsewhere, the surface appears to be etched by fields of small pits that may have formed by a process called sublimation, in which ice turns directly from solid to gas, just as dry ice does on Earth.

Scientists have two working theories as to how these segments were formed. The irregular shapes may be the result of the contraction of surface materials, similar to what happens when mud dries. Alternatively, they may be a product of convection, similar to wax rising in a lava lamp. On Pluto, convection would occur within a surface layer of frozen carbon monoxide, methane and nitrogen, driven by the scant warmth of Pluto’s interior.

Pluto’s icy plains also display dark streaks that are a few miles long. These streaks appear to be aligned in the same direction and may have been produced by winds blowing across the frozen surface.

The Tuesday “heart of the heart” image was taken when New Horizons was 48,000 miles (77,000 kilometers) from Pluto, and shows features as small as one-half mile (1 kilometer) across. Mission scientists will learn more about these mysterious terrains from higher-resolution and stereo images that New Horizons will pull from its digital recorders and send back to Earth during the next year.                                                               

The New Horizons Atmospheres team observed Pluto’s atmosphere as far as 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) above the surface, demonstrating that Pluto’s nitrogen-rich atmosphere is quite extended. This is the first observation of Pluto’s atmosphere at altitudes higher than 170 miles above the surface (270 kilometers).

The New Horizons Particles and Plasma team has discovered a region of cold, dense ionized gas tens of thousands of miles beyond Pluto -- the planet’s atmosphere being stripped away by the solar wind and lost to space.

“This is just a first tantalizing look at Pluto’s plasma environment,” said New Horizons co-investigator Fran Bagenal, University of Colorado, Boulder.

"With the flyby in the rearview mirror, a decade-long journey to Pluto is over --but, the science payoff is only beginning,” said Jim Green, director of Planetary Science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Data from New Horizons will continue to fuel discovery for years to come.”   

Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), Boulder, Colorado, added, “We’ve only scratched the surface of our Pluto exploration, but it already seems clear to me that in the initial reconnaissance of the solar system, the best was saved for last."

New Horizons is part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, designed, built and operates the New Horizons spacecraft and manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. SwRI leads the mission, science team, payload operations and encounter science planning.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #362 on: 07/17/2015 05:30 PM »
Wind streaks....

Offline PahTo

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #363 on: 07/17/2015 05:32 PM »

Excellent coverage--thanks!  (concur about the PAO too)  :)

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #364 on: 07/17/2015 05:32 PM »
50 GB of data has been collected.....and yet to collect. Will arrive 2:1 compression. 1GB on the ground so far.

Offline seawolfe

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #365 on: 07/17/2015 05:34 PM »
Heh...They had 65GB of flash memory available....didn't even get close to topping it off.

Offline seawolfe

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #366 on: 07/17/2015 05:41 PM »
Anyone getting the questions and answers?  I'm at work and can't do audio.

Offline PahTo

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #367 on: 07/17/2015 05:45 PM »

17 kg of RTG-capable Pu238 available to NASA, and production of more has been approved--production to begin late this year or early next!

Offline Helodriver

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #368 on: 07/17/2015 05:45 PM »
I'm going to go out on a limb and say the lack of impact craters indicates that the entire planetary surface sublimates and the planet is slowly evaporating like a giant comet. During perihelion, the planet is "active" and this creates the atmosphere detectable from earth. The tall mountains are areas of greater density that do not dissipate as quickly. Pluto is big enough that its gravity causes a lot of the ejected material to fall back on its surface as snow and move around creating and modifying surface features before eventually disappearing into space.

Wow, it looks like my interpretation may have some legs.   That is a lot of atmospheric stripping going on to make an ion tail.  Fantastic new data about a fascinating world.

Offline seawolfe

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #369 on: 07/17/2015 05:48 PM »
I like Fran, she's just so animated and passionate.

Offline Chris Bergin

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #370 on: 07/17/2015 05:50 PM »
Anyone getting the questions and answers?  I'm at work and can't do audio.

There will be a recording of it on later. It's all planetary science stuff. Some of the pics were interesting...

Offline JasonAW3

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #371 on: 07/17/2015 05:57 PM »
Icy plains of Pluto

Whoa!  It almost looks as though there is debris around the holes along the ice ridges.  If so, it could be an indicator of cryovolcanism!

Or wind.

Or both!
My God!  It's full of universes!


Offline seawolfe

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #373 on: 07/17/2015 05:58 PM »
Looks like that was it!  Have to catch the rebroadcast later or if someone will summarize... ::)  ;D

Offline Rocket Science

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #374 on: 07/17/2015 05:59 PM »
"Science never sleeps"... What a great line! ;D
"The laws of physics are unforgiving"
~Rob, Physics instructor, aviator, vintage auto racer

Offline nadreck

Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #375 on: 07/17/2015 06:02 PM »
"Science never sleeps"... What a great line! ;D

Another great line "Journalists love flyby's, they are science at the speed of journalism"
It is all well and good to quote those things that made it past your confirmation bias that other people wrote, but this is a discussion board damnit! Let us know what you think! And why!


Offline Comga

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #377 on: 07/17/2015 06:22 PM »
Nix satellite portrayed, 2-times better than earth-based resolution.
25 miles across.

Not exactly
Nix is portrayed with twice the number of pixels as the highest resolution of Pluto before New Horizons.
That puts each pixel at around a kilometer.  Resolution from Earth is a couple of hundred kilometers. 
(Hubble WFC3 HRC has 0.2 microradian pixels.  At 5 billion km that's 1000 km per pixel.)
What kind of wastrels would dump a perfectly good booster in the ocean after just one use?

Offline Lee Jay

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #378 on: 07/17/2015 06:30 PM »
50 GB of data has been collected.....and yet to collect. Will arrive 2:1 compression. 1GB on the ground so far.
Heh...They had 65GB of flash memory available....didn't even get close to topping it off.

I think both of these should be "Gb", not "GB".  The recorders are 8GB (gigabytes) each (which is 64Gb), so there's no way to store 50GB plus the team has been talking mostly in "gigabits" in the past.

So, they probably have 1 gigabit (128MB) downloaded out of 50Gb (6.25GB).

Offline seawolfe

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Re: LIVE: New Horizons Pluto FlyBy - July 14, 2015
« Reply #379 on: 07/17/2015 06:35 PM »
50 GB of data has been collected.....and yet to collect. Will arrive 2:1 compression. 1GB on the ground so far.
Heh...They had 65GB of flash memory available....didn't even get close to topping it off.

I think both of these should be "Gb", not "GB".  The recorders are 8GB (gigabytes) each (which is 64Gb), so there's no way to store 50GB plus the team has been talking mostly in "gigabits" in the past.

So, they probably have 1 gigabit (128MB) downloaded out of 50Gb (6.25GB).

Picky...picky... :o   ;D

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