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New Horizons


r4pt0r
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Are LORRI images rotationally corrected before being published?

There is no up or down or correct, since all conventions go out the window when talking about another body that additionally is revolving in a rather different orientation than Earth.

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Here we go:

This system is amazing.

Big surprise there, especially since it is coming from the guy running the mission :P What is he going to say? This whole system is bupkis, we should never have bothered coming here. Kthxbye!

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I really want to know why Pluto is so geologically young. Unfortunately so does everyone else at this point. :sticktongue:

Its not geologically young, the mountain peaks that you see (probably ice proper) are old, but the flat surfaces you see are all recent.

The speaker apparently believes that the surface regenerates itself. This could occur for several reasons.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33543383

Pluto has a close approach to the sun, this causes the low melting point ices to melt and probably cause appreciable turbulation of the surrounding areas.

Some of these gas may come down as rain causing significant erosion just like on earth, in fact I see evidence of erosion in the photos.

-------

As of 8:30 PM CDT the NASA site is down. I think you guys overloaded it. Nice.

There are other possibilities, for example during accretion of the solar system, the heaviest metals are drawn to the inner solar system and the gases are pushed out. However the kuiper belt objects maybe residue that was not captured by these gravitational forces, as a consequence there may be substantially more heavy metal residue and radioactive elements here.

Even a low level of radioactive element in an essential snow covered world will be insulated from heat loss, the upwellings of liquids from the center of the planet may suffice episodically to turn over the surface. This is not uncommon and we observe this on earth, for example dissolved CO2 is heavier than water, and volcanic activity under lakes can cause the concentration of CO2 to build up to a critical point for a given pressure and temperature, any small perturbation (tempterature rise or increase of CO2 or simply a deep wave) can cause the CO2 to change state and it immediately pulls up the surrounding water, causing more CO2 to lose solubility and prompt critical circumstance, that eventually pulls most of the CO2 out of the lake (and unfortantely kills everything in the surrounding areas).

The same could be happening on pluto, we could have liquid gases that suddenly upwell and volatile causing a rapid destabilization. I suspect that the heart shape feature is the such an event, a destabilized area that has been filled in with new precipitation.

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I rotated the Pluto image 90 degrees so I don't have to tilt my head. :P

http://i.imgur.com/f2ZumRN.png

The pervasive rippling of structures throughout the landscape is really something. Need to get closer.

Nice! Who put this together? Mindlessly, instinctively, I immediately found myself trying to rotate the image for viewing - doh! There are a few Celestia folks who are already working on replacement texture maps. :cool:

Edit-

Ooooo... I see a nice place to land. lol

Edited by LordFerret
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Its not geologically young, the mountain peaks that you see (probably ice proper) are old, but the flat surfaces you see are all recent.

The speaker apparently believes that the surface regenerates itself. This could occur for several reasons.

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-33543383

Pluto has a close approach to the sun, this causes the low melting point ices to melt and probably cause appreciable turbulation of the surrounding areas.

Some of these gas may come down as rain causing significant erosion just like on earth, in fact I see evidence of erosion in the photos.

It is impossible for any of the ices there to experience a liquid phase on the surface at encountered pressures. You'd need five orders of magnitude more pressure to get the triple point. I couldn't find a carbon(II) oxide phase diagram, but here's one with data on methane and nitrogen. CO is very much like nitrogen.

combo_phase_diag.png

There might occasionaly be some precipitation in the form of very tiny particles in the atmosphere, probably forming parhelia like in this photo.

polar-phenomena-rosing-749109-sw.jpg

Rate of falling would be abominably low. Direct ground deposition of atmospheric gases (reverse sublimation), therefore frost, is much more likely.

I do agree that the mountains most likely aren't very young. It's the regolith, being transported around by sublimation and deposition, that should be the main reason for fresh looking surface. Impacts into Pluto would be spectacular because a huge amount of volatiles would turn into gas.

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I think they are identifying numbers for the dish itself. If you click on one of them, then look at the data about the connection/dish...the "Name" of the dish is always "DSS ##" (so for example, the DSS 54 in Madrid is currently targeting New Horizons).

Yeah, it seems that way, but there are not 65 dishes in the DSN, so why are the numbers that large?

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I was under the impression that it is very possible for subsurface liquids to exist on Pluto though.

Photos are just amazing. Giant mountains of water ice. Both Pluto AND Charon active. The potential of discovering a new way for icy bodies to heat themselves other then tidal friction.

The lack of craters is crazy too. I got the impression they are leaning towards the idea that the surface is active so it covers or erodes craters, not that the impact rates are substantially lower out there compared to other parts of the solar system.

My mind is blown and I want more more more!

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I was under the impression that it is very possible for subsurface liquids to exist on Pluto though.

It is possible, in fact, with what we now know, probable, Lajoswinkler is on about the surface of pluto. Underground, higher pressures make liquid water possible.

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Yeah, it seems that way, but there are not 65 dishes in the DSN, so why are the numbers that large?

The first number points to the complex the anenna is in. There are/were:

1x - California, USA (Goldstone)

2x - are also part of the Goldstone complex

3x - ?

4x - Australia (Woomera, Canberra, Tidbinbilla)

5x - South Africa (Johannesburg)

6x - Spain (Madrid)

7x - Launch Control (Cape Canaveral, USA & Ascension Island, BOT in the middle of nowhere)

The second number increases for each antenna at that complex. Thus 65 means it's the 5th antenna of the Madrid complex.

Edit: Found information about DSS-2x.

Edited by *Aqua*
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I'm really fascinated by the mysterious source that is powering (or has powered recently) resurfacing activities on Pluto. I don't think radioactive decay is strong enough to make tens of 11000 feet tall mountains in just a 150x150 km area and wipe out a great part of the craters (although this latter thing could also be explained by the surface-atmosphere interaction)

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I was under the impression that it is very possible for subsurface liquids to exist on Pluto though.

Photos are just amazing. Giant mountains of water ice. Both Pluto AND Charon active. The potential of discovering a new way for icy bodies to heat themselves other then tidal friction.

The lack of craters is crazy too. I got the impression they are leaning towards the idea that the surface is active so it covers or erodes craters, not that the impact rates are substantially lower out there compared to other parts of the solar system.

My mind is blown and I want more more more!

This is for pure water.

2000px-Phase_diagram_of_water.svg.png

For solutions of ammonia, which is expected to be one of the main constituents because it's so obvious and everywhere, things are a bit different. The graph depends on the molar concentration of NH3 in water, but as a general rule, increasing concentration will skew the graph's liquidus and solidus lines towards lower temperatures.

At one atmosphere, solution with w=25% will have a melting point of -57.5 °C, and w=32% will have it at -91.5 °C, so at greater pressures, melting points are lower, but we must not assume there are concentrated ammonia solutions deep below. There is no reason to think it has to be the case.

I'm still inclined to think there are liquid pockets down below even though surface regeneration by lighter volatiles seems to be the dominant process.

Edited by lajoswinkler
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I'm really fascinated by the mysterious source that is powering (or has powered recently) resurfacing activities on Pluto. I don't think radioactive decay is strong enough to make tens of 11000 feet tall mountains in just a 150x150 km area and wipe out a great part of the craters (although this latter thing could also be explained by the surface-atmosphere interaction)

Possibly. Remember, the mountains are thought to be composed of water ice. You only need a few tens of degrees to create a liquid mantle with water, as opposed to thousands for melted rock. The main method of planetary cooling is radiation, which scales with the fourth power of temperature, so a cooler will lose heat far, far slower than a hotter one.

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