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@  Pennpenn : (24 April 2019 - 03:05 AM)

It's like how the whole "alpha male" thing doesn't really show up in wolf packs in the wild.

@  Nevermore : (24 April 2019 - 01:54 AM)

Aaaaand another myth busted.

@  CORVUS : (24 April 2019 - 12:27 AM)

Quite welcome! :)

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (23 April 2019 - 09:51 PM)

@Corvus Huh, did not know that part. Thanks for imparting knowledge!

@  Kayla Kaon : (23 April 2019 - 09:27 PM)

No because it's true.

@  wonko the sane? : (23 April 2019 - 09:17 PM)

Would I be jaded if i said that's a good lesson about people as well?

@  CORVUS : (23 April 2019 - 09:01 PM)

Overstated risk. Most observations of sexual cannibalism in the Praying Mantis occurred in captivity, versus nature. When entomologists began observing them in nature instead, they found that sexual cannibalism took place around 30% of the time. Basically, if a male Mantis avoids thin, hungry females, his chances are pretty good. #yesimanerd

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (23 April 2019 - 07:52 PM)

Are you a male mantis?

@  MEDdMI : (23 April 2019 - 07:27 PM)

Death by snu snu

@  TheMightyMol... : (23 April 2019 - 06:40 PM)

There's a joke about going out with a bang to be made here.

@  Kayla Kaon : (23 April 2019 - 06:38 PM)

I would hope getting laid is preferred over dying :p

@  Nevermore : (23 April 2019 - 05:20 PM)

Don't we all want to get laid?

@  TheMightyMol... : (23 April 2019 - 04:53 PM)

I'd spend the first few loops just taking an extended nap.

@  Dekafox : (23 April 2019 - 04:48 PM)

Endless death time loops certainly happen enough in Star Trek

@  Kayla Kaon : (23 April 2019 - 03:50 PM)

That's not what I had in mind but if that is what you would do in that scenario then that is pretty messed up. I would not want to be stuck in a perpetual loop of death. More like getting laid but that is just me.

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (23 April 2019 - 01:58 PM)

Happy death day to you!

@  Kayla Kaon : (23 April 2019 - 01:45 PM)

.... I would love that. To be stuck in an endless loop where no one remembers what happened... The possibilities :D

@  ZakuConvoy : (23 April 2019 - 01:43 PM)

Are you stuck in a Groundhogs Day situation? Because if you are, you need to tell the rest of us so we can take advantage, too.

@  Kayla Kaon : (23 April 2019 - 11:10 AM)

Lol today needs to end asap so that I can start over tomorrow

@  Ashley : (21 April 2019 - 10:08 PM)

They frequently do, but yeah there's no rule. Google will usually answer it for a specific restaurant, though

@  TheMightyMol... : (21 April 2019 - 02:57 PM)

Depends on the restaurant and the area. There's no universal rule about it.

@  TM2-Megatron : (21 April 2019 - 02:41 PM)

I thought restaurants were one of the few things that stayed open on holidays, along with movie theatres and the like

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (21 April 2019 - 02:30 PM)

Well here I am hungry on a Sunday afternoon and I head to Chipotle only to find out right then and there that the place is closed for Easter. Yay.

@  MEDdMI : (19 April 2019 - 09:21 PM)

oof, yikes. Good luck.

@  wonko the sane? : (19 April 2019 - 09:18 PM)

We're in the middle of a kitchen reno and NOTHING will be done until tuesday. I could beat a four day weekend with a hammer right now if it meant I could use my stove again.

@  Steevy Maximus : (19 April 2019 - 06:47 PM)

Can't beat 4 day weekends either.

@  Steevy Maximus : (19 April 2019 - 06:47 PM)

I prefer later shifts myself, but my 3 day weekend shift isn't bad. Nice to work without those administration busy bodies poking around.

@  Nevermore : (19 April 2019 - 04:12 AM)

Yeah, traffic is a plus as well. Rarely got any trouble getting to work on late shift (even with the neverending construction site on the highway), and when my shift is over, there's hardly any traffic at all anymore.

@  MEDdMI : (18 April 2019 - 06:27 PM)

while I don't have weekends consistently off, working 2nd shift isn't so bad. I'm more likely to do stuff before work than after (when I'm already tired). Plus no rush hour traffic

@  TM2-Megatron : (18 April 2019 - 05:03 PM)

Switching shifts constantly is never good for one's health. There was a time when I worked overnights steady for about 2 years; did wonders for my health, as well

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:36 PM)

Don't miss early shift (and especially switching back and forth every two weeks) a bit.

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:36 PM)

Man, permanent late shift really has done wonders for my overal well-being. Never having to get up early for work, staying up late, weekends off... a ot of my coworkers think I'm crazy, but late shift is really my preferred shift.

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:33 PM)

(My total lack of sleep on that day might have contributed, though.)

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:33 PM)

At noon, it was warm.

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:33 PM)

On Monday, we went on strike early in the morning, I was also wearing to jackets and gloves and my toes and fingers were freezing.

@  wonko the sane? : (18 April 2019 - 04:31 PM)

Nope, right now my days are doing that. Frigid at night (Well, just below zero, but still.) and warm enough to be always be ill prepared during the day.

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:28 PM)

Today it's so warm I had to take a shower to wash off the sweat after a lengthy bike trip.

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:27 PM)

This past Friday I was wearing two jackets and winter gloves outside and took a hot bath when I returned home.

@  Nevermore : (18 April 2019 - 04:27 PM)

Is "April weather" an issue in other countries as well, or is that specifically a German phenomenon?

@  PlutoniumBoss : (16 April 2019 - 11:04 AM)

Well, when you understand the history of the area it make sense. It's basically a series of countries buying the place, moving in, saying "we rule you people now", and the locals shrugging and responding, "okay, you have fun with that".

@  Sabrblade : (16 April 2019 - 07:58 AM)

When did we all turn into Henry Higgins?

@  unluckiness : (16 April 2019 - 03:16 AM)

To be fair, most Americans can't get the hang of English, so I can understand why.

@  PlutoniumBoss : (16 April 2019 - 03:15 AM)

(And yeah, Calliope is a Greek muse, not French, but the street was named BY the French when they took over.)

@  PlutoniumBoss : (16 April 2019 - 03:10 AM)

In New Orleans there's a bunch of streets with French names that are pronounced by locals with a more English emphasis, for example "Calliope Street" is pronounced "CAL-lee-ope".

@  SHIELD Agent 47 : (15 April 2019 - 11:56 PM)

I figured as much for Canadians.

@  TM2-Megatron : (15 April 2019 - 11:37 PM)

hm; whenever I've heard people talk about the school they said it the same way as the cathedral...but I guess that's in Canada, so they're probably more familiar with the cathedral than the school

@  Dracula : (15 April 2019 - 11:11 PM)

There's plenty of place names in the US like that. Around here we have an "el doh-RAY-doh," and up north there's a Cairo that's pronounced "kay-roh"

@  RichardT1977 : (15 April 2019 - 09:56 PM)

Yeah, the common pronunciation of the University is probably the reason most Americans don't pronounce the Cathedral name correctly.

@  Arazyr : (15 April 2019 - 08:03 PM)

That's my understanding of how the two are supposed to be pronounced as well.

@  Echowarrior : (15 April 2019 - 07:42 PM)

When I'm talking about the cathedral, I say "noh-treh dahme". When I talk about the university, I say "noh-ter dayme". I don't see a problem with that.


Photo
* * * * - 4 votes

Space Discoveries Thread


493 replies to this topic

#41 Rust

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 07:19 AM

Is it just me, or is Pluto giving New Horizons a bit of a stink eye? The dark bands look like smoldering eyes. :D


Don't fight it, it's coming for you, running at ya / It's only this moment, don't care what comes after
Your fever dream, can't you see it getting closer / Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over
It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open / It's a preacher in the pulpit and you'll find devotion
There's something breaking at the brick of every wall, it's holding All that you know
So tell me do you wanna go?

#42 wonko the sane?

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 07:59 AM

interesting how the heart splays out at the bottom, almost as if it were a...

 

0LfYnW4.jpg

 

... oh god dammit.  There goes the solar system.

Yeah, cause the human infestation on the third planet wasn't enough of a problem. Jeeze, this is what we get for living in a low rent solar system.



#43 Internet Jesus

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 07:46 PM

GC6K3WI.png

 

Last photo release before the flyby, we'll get some hi-res stuff either tomorrow or the next day.

 

27 minutes til the pass.

OH MY GOD. I found a thing on Tumblr.

 

tumblr_nrhy4bH54f1t9h12eo1_1280.jpg


But in the current, digitized world, trivial information is accumulating every second, preserved in all its triteness. Never fading, always accessible. Rumors about petty issues, misinterpretations, slander... All this junk data preserved in an unfiltered state, growing at an alarming rate. It will only slow down social progress, reduce the rate of evolution. You seem to think that our plan is one of censorship. What we propose to do is not to control content, but to create context.


#44 2019

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 08:02 PM

Well, we managed to get a signal back from the Probe after it passed, so that's good. Everything's okay.


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#45 CORVUS

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 10:46 PM

I love this...

 

NASAvs_COMCAST.png


“She went around with the attitude that she would rather be beaten to death than take any shit.” - Stieg Larsson

 


#46 2019

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 06:59 PM

More pics filtering out:

 

PzgDOlP.jpg

 

 

Remarkable new details of Pluto’s largest moon Charon are revealed in this image from New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), taken late on July 13, 2015 from a distance of 289,000 miles (466,000 kilometers).

A swath of cliffs and troughs stretches about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from left to right, suggesting widespread fracturing of Charon’s crust, likely a result of internal processes. At upper right, along the moon’s curving edge, is a canyon estimated to be 4 to 6 miles (7 to 9 kilometers) deep.

Mission scientists are surprised by the apparent lack of craters on Charon. South of the moon’s equator, at the bottom of this image, terrain is lit by the slanting rays of the sun, creating shadows that make it easier to distinguish topography. Even here, however, relatively few craters are visible, indicating a relatively young surface that has been reshaped by geologic activity.

In Charon’s north polar region, a dark marking prominent in New Horizons’ approach images is now seen to have a diffuse boundary, suggesting it is a thin deposit of dark material. Underlying it is a distinct, sharply bounded, angular feature; higher resolution images still to come are expected to shed more light on this enigmatic region.

 

U1BAc2w.png

 

 

The latest spectra from New Horizons Ralph instrument reveal an abundance of methane ice, but with striking differences from place to place across the frozen surface of Pluto.

"We just learned that in the north polar cap, methane ice is diluted in a thick, transparent slab of nitrogen ice resulting in strong absorption of infrared light,� said New Horizons co-investigator Will Grundy, Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona. In one of the visually dark equatorial patches, the methane ice has shallower infrared absorptions indicative of a very different texture. "The spectrum appears as if the ice is less diluted in nitrogen," Grundy speculated �or that it has a different texture in that area."

An Earthly example of different textures of a frozen substance: a fluffy bank of clean snow is bright white, but compacted polar ice looks blue. New Horizons' surface composition team, led by Grundy, has begun the intricate process of analyzing Ralph data to determine the detailed compositions of the distinct regions on Pluto.

This is the first detailed image of Pluto from the Linear Etalon Imaging Spectral Array, part of the Ralph instrument on New Horizons. The observations were made at three wavelengths of infrared light, which are invisible to the human eye. In this picture, blue corresponds to light of wavelengths 1.62 to 1.70 micrometers, a channel covering a medium-strong absorption band of methane ice, green (1.97 to 2.05 micrometers) represents a channel where methane ice does not absorb light, and red (2.30 to 2.33 micrometers) is a channel where the light is very heavily absorbed by methane ice. The two areas outlined on Pluto show where Ralph observations obtained the spectral traces at the right. Note that the methane absorptions (notable dips) in the spectrum from the northern region are much deeper than the dips in the spectrum from the dark patch.

 

So that's interesting. Charon especially, I don't think anyone thought it'd be more active like this.


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#47 Rust

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 07:01 PM

The dark spot on Charon has been nicknamed "Mordor".

 

This pleases me.


Don't fight it, it's coming for you, running at ya / It's only this moment, don't care what comes after
Your fever dream, can't you see it getting closer / Just surrender 'cause you feel the feeling taking over
It's fire, it's freedom, it's flooding open / It's a preacher in the pulpit and you'll find devotion
There's something breaking at the brick of every wall, it's holding All that you know
So tell me do you wanna go?

#48 2019

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 07:04 PM

But, even cooler:

 

9UZF9ih.png

 

New close-up images of a region near Pluto’s equator reveal a giant surprise: a range of youthful mountains rising as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body.

The mountains likely formed no more than 100 million years ago -- mere youngsters relative to the 4.56-billion-year age of the solar system -- and may still be in the process of building, says Jeff Moore of New Horizons’ Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI). That suggests the close-up region, which covers less than one percent of Pluto’s surface, may still be geologically active today.

Moore and his colleagues base the youthful age estimate on the lack of craters in this scene. Like the rest of Pluto, this region would presumably have been pummeled by space debris for billions of years and would have once been heavily cratered -- unless recent activity had given the region a facelift, erasing those pockmarks.

“This is one of the youngest surfaces we’ve ever seen in the solar system,” says Moore.

Unlike the icy moons of giant planets, Pluto cannot be heated by gravitational interactions with a much larger planetary body. Some other process must be generating the mountainous landscape.

“This may cause us to rethink what powers geological activity on many other icy worlds,” says GGI deputy team leader John Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.

The mountains are probably composed of Pluto’s water-ice “bedrock.”
Although methane and nitrogen ice covers much of the surface of Pluto, these materials are not strong enough to build the mountains. Instead, a stiffer material, most likely water-ice, created the peaks. “At Pluto’s temperatures, water-ice behaves more like rock,” said deputy GGI lead Bill McKinnon of Washington University, St. Louis.

 

So turns out Pluto has some of the newest mountains in the Solar System, yet no Jovian gravity or heat to stimulate them. How weird is that?


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#49 Nutjob R/T

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 07:40 PM

We need to get Jeb to the surface and start collecting samples.
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#50 2019

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 07:02 PM

VmzkPsS.jpg

 

 

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.

 

GCDvWee.jpg

 

 

Scientists working with NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft have observed Pluto’s atmosphere as far as 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) above the surface of the planet, 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 planet’s surface (270 kilometers).

The new information was gathered by New Horizon’s Alice imaging spectrograph during a carefully designed alignment of the sun, Pluto, and the spacecraft starting about an hour after the craft’s closest approach to the planet on July 14. During the event known as a solar occultation, New Horizons passed through Pluto’s shadow while the sun backlit Pluto’s atmosphere.

“This is only the beginning for Pluto atmospheric science” says New Horizons scientist Andrew Steffl of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “Next month, the full Alice occultation dataset will be sent to Earth for analysis. Even so, the data we have now show that Pluto’s atmosphere rises higher above its surface, in relative terms, than does the Earth’s.”

 

sh8qtnN.jpg

 

 

New Horizons 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. Beginning an hour and half after closest approach, the Solar Wind Around Pluto (SWAP) instrument observed a cavity in the solar wind — the outflow of electrically charged particles from the Sun — between 48,000 miles (77,000 km) and 68,000 miles (109,000 km) downstream of Pluto. SWAP data revealed this cavity to be populated with nitrogen ions forming a “plasma tail” of undetermined structure and length extending behind the planet.

Similar plasma tails are observed at planets like Venus and Mars. In the case of Pluto’s predominantly nitrogen atmosphere, escaping molecules are ionized by solar ultraviolet light, “picked up” by the solar wind, and carried past Pluto to form the plasma tail discovered by New Horizons. Prior to closest approach, nitrogen ions were detected far upstream of Pluto by the Pluto Energetic Particle Spectrometer Science Investigation (PEPSSI) instrument, providing a foretaste of Pluto’s escaping atmosphere.

Plasma tail formation is but one fundamental aspect of Pluto’s solar wind interaction, the nature of which is determined by several yet poorly constrained factors. Of these, perhaps the most important is the atmospheric loss rate. “This is just a first tantalizing look at Pluto’s plasma environment,” says co-investigator Fran Bagenal, University of Colorado, Boulder, who leads the New Horizons Particles and Plasma team. “We’ll be getting more data in August, which we can combine with the Alice and Rex atmospheric measurements to pin down the rate at which Pluto is losing its atmosphere. Once we know that, we’ll be able to answer outstanding questions about the evolution of Pluto’s atmosphere and surface and determine to what extent Pluto’s solar wind interaction is like that of Mars.”


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#51 2019

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 08:26 AM

Some new stuff:

DAMcvxU.png

 

Pluto’s icy mountains have company. NASA’s New Horizons mission has discovered a new, apparently less lofty mountain range on the lower-left edge of Pluto’s best known feature, the bright, heart-shaped region named Tombaugh Regio (Tombaugh Region).

These newly-discovered frozen peaks are estimated to be one-half mile to one mile (1-1.5 kilometers) high, about the same height as the United States’ Appalachian Mountains. The Norgay Montes (Norgay Mountains) discovered by New Horizons on July 15 more closely approximate the height of the taller Rocky Mountains.

The new range is just west of the region within Pluto’s heart called Sputnik Planum (Sputnik Plain). The peaks lie some 68 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Norgay Montes. This newest image further illustrates the remarkably well-defined topography along the western edge of Tombaugh Regio.

“There is a pronounced difference in texture between the younger, frozen plains to the east and the dark, heavily-cratered terrain to the west,” said Jeff Moore, leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. “There’s a complex interaction going on between the bright and the dark materials that we’re still trying to understand.”

While Sputnik Planum is believed to be relatively young in geological terms – perhaps less than 100 million years old — the darker region probably dates back billions of years. Moore notes that the bright, sediment-like material appears to be filling in old craters (for example, the bright circular feature to the lower left of center).

 

gXwzMsl.jpg

 

While Pluto's largest moon, Charon, has grabbed most of the lunar spotlight, two of Pluto's smaller and lesser-known satellites are starting to come into focus via new images from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft.

Nix and Hydra – the second and third moons to be discovered – are approximately the same size, but their similarity ends there.

New Horizons' first color image of Nix, in which colors have been enhanced, reveals an intriguing region on the jelly bean-shaped satellite, which is estimated to be 26 miles (42 kilometers) long and 22 miles (36 kilometers) wide.

Although the overall surface color of Nix is neutral grey in the image, the newfound region has a distinct red tint. Hints of a bull's-eye pattern lead scientists to speculate that the reddish region is a crater.

"Additional compositional data has already been taken of Nix, but is not yet downlinked. It will tell us why this region is redder than its surroundings," said mission scientist Carly Howett, of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado. She added, "This observation is so tantalizing, I'm finding it hard to be patient for more Nix data to be downlinked."

Meanwhile, the sharpest image yet received from New Horizons of Pluto's satellite Hydra shows that its irregular shape resembles the state of Michigan. The new image was made by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) on July 14, 2015 from a distance of 143,000 miles (231,000 kilometers), and shows features as small as 0.7 miles (1.2 kilometers) across. There appear to be at least two large craters, one of which is mostly in shadow. The upper portion looks darker than the rest of Hydra, suggesting a possible difference in surface composition. From this image, mission scientists have estimated that Hydra is 34 miles (55 kilometers) long and 25 miles (40 kilometers) wide.

"Before last week, Hydra was just a faint point of light, so it's a surreal experience to see it become an actual place, as we see its shape and spot recognizable features on its surface for the first time," said mission science collaborator Ted Stryk, of Roane State Community College in Tennessee.

Images of Pluto's most recently discovered moons, Styx and Kerberos, are expected to be transmitted to Earth no later than mid-October.


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#52 wonko the sane?

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:49 AM

Okay: Everyone say it with me!

 

HAIL HYDRA!

 

Joking aside, this is awesome. I had no idea pluto had three satelites.



#53 2019

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:55 AM

That's because it has five? Nyx, Styx, Kerberos, Hydra and Charon.


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#54 wonko the sane?

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 04:16 PM

Learn more every day.



#55 2019

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 04:17 AM

New stuff:

 

luNCh40.png

 

 

Just seven hours after closest approach, New Horizons aimed its Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) back at Pluto, capturing sunlight streaming through the atmosphere and revealing hazes as high as 80 miles (130 kilometers) above Pluto’s surface. A preliminary analysis of the image shows two distinct layers of haze — one about 50 miles (80 kilometers) above the surface and the other at an altitude of about 30 miles (50 kilometers).

“My jaw was on the ground when I saw this first image of an alien atmosphere in the Kuiper Belt,” said Alan Stern, principal investigator for New Horizons at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. “It reminds us that exploration brings us more than just incredible discoveries — it brings incredible beauty.”

Studying Pluto’s atmosphere provides clues as to what’s happening below.

“The hazes detected in this image are a key element in creating the complex hydrocarbon compounds that give Pluto’s surface its reddish hue,” said Michael Summers, New Horizons co-investigator at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. 

Models suggest the hazes form when ultraviolet sunlight breaks up methane gas particles — a simple hydrocarbon in Pluto’s atmosphere. The breakdown of methane triggers the buildup of more complex hydrocarbon gases, such as ethylene and acetylene, which also were discovered in Pluto’s atmosphere by New Horizons. As these hydrocarbons fall to the lower, colder parts of the atmosphere, they condense into ice particles that create the hazes. Ultraviolent sunlight chemically converts hazes into tholins, the dark hydrocarbons that color Pluto’s surface.

Scientists previously had calculated temperatures would be too warm for hazes to form at altitudes higher than 20 miles (30 kilometers) above Pluto’s surface.

“We’re going to need some new ideas to figure out what’s going on,” said Summers.

 

And we've got more nitty-gritty terrain pictures, which reveal something new:

rJPWEyu.jpg
MpoImWr.jpg

 

The New Horizons mission also found in LORRI images evidence of exotic ices flowing across Pluto’s surface and revealing signs of recent geologic activity, something scientists hoped to find but didn’t expect.   

The new images show fascinating details within the Texas-sized plain, informally named Sputnik Planum, which lies within the western half of Pluto’s heart-shaped feature, known as Tombaugh Regio. There, a sheet of ice clearly appears to have flowed — and may still be flowing — in a manner similar to glaciers on Earth.

“We’ve only seen surfaces like this on active worlds like Earth and Mars,” said mission co-investigator John Spencer of SwRI. “I'm really smiling.”

Additionally, new compositional data from New Horizons’ Ralph instrument indicate the center of Sputnik Planum is rich in nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane ices.

“At Pluto’s temperatures of minus-390 degrees Fahrenheit, these ices can flow like a glacier,” said Bill McKinnon, deputy leader of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging team at Washington University in St. Louis. “In the southernmost region of the heart, adjacent to the dark equatorial region, it appears that ancient, heavily-cratered terrain has been invaded by much newer icy deposits.”

 

So yeah, not only is Pluto geologically active, it's got a more substantial layer of atmospheric haze than initially though, and bloody great glaciers sliding about.


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#56 Internet Jesus

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 05:03 AM

CTHULHU REGIO

 

I love the nerds at NASA, truly.


But in the current, digitized world, trivial information is accumulating every second, preserved in all its triteness. Never fading, always accessible. Rumors about petty issues, misinterpretations, slander... All this junk data preserved in an unfiltered state, growing at an alarming rate. It will only slow down social progress, reduce the rate of evolution. You seem to think that our plan is one of censorship. What we propose to do is not to control content, but to create context.


#57 2019

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 05:27 AM

It kinda makes sense since Pluto was the origin of some Lovecraftian nasties. Though if they wanted to be more accurate they could call it Yuggoth Regio.


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#58 Lisbon Virgo

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 11:44 AM

I wonder how fast we can get a satellite and rover to Pluto? That puppy needs intense study!
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#59 DarkeklawGW

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 12:56 PM

I love how Pluto just seems to be scream to us ...



NOTICE ME SENPI,,,,  LOL :)


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#60 Boss Borot

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Posted 25 July 2015 - 06:05 PM

Too bad we never got that movie adaptation of At The Mountains Of Madness. The sequel could've been set on Pluto at this rate.





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