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Adipasquale
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:53 pm

I can't wait for 3 PM to see the NASA press conference and the new pictures. It's this sort of accomplishment that makes me proud to be an American, that we can devote our scientific knowledge to amazing feats of space exploration, not just more efficient ways to kill people. Not that military technology isn't cool also (it certainly is), this is just on a whole other level!
DH8A DH8B CR1 CR2 CR7 CR9 E45 E70 E75 E90 D93 M88 319 320 321 333 343 712 732 733 734 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 77L 77W
 
UA444
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:41 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 149):

That is false. The further out you go, the harder it is to clear an orbit. Earth could not clear the Kuiper Belt that far out. Some astronomers speculate an object that big lies out there.

As for Eris, it is confirmed to be smaller than Pluto. As for the Barcycenter with its moon, Dysnimoia is tiny and much smaller compared to Eris than Charon is to Pluto. In a few million years, the moon and Earth will orbit just like Pluto/Charon.
 
UA444
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:42 pm

Press conference says Pluto has mountains 11,000 feet high and has confirmed geological activity and thought to be active due to the surface being devoid of craters. Fascinating.
 
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Adipasquale
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:10 pm

Quoting UA444 (Reply 151):
That is false. The further out you go, the harder it is to clear an orbit. Earth could not clear the Kuiper Belt that far out. Some astronomers speculate an object that big lies out there.

That is my understanding of it also; that the farther out, the harder it is to clear the orbit. That is why IM (layman's) HO, the IAU's requisite that to be a planet, it must have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit is not good. With this requisite, there is a good chance that an Earth-sized body at Pluto's distance from the sun would not be considered a planet under the IAU definition. As the information is relayed back to Earth from New Horizons over the next year, we should learn a lot more about Pluto and be able to make a more educated decision on its planet status. The way I see it, a strong argument could be made to recognize both Pluto and Eris planets and give us a nice round 10 in the solar system. Furthermore, it seems to me that part of the reason Pluto's status as a (dwarf) planet is so contentious among the general public in large part because it is still a very contentious subject among the scientific community as well (in large part because the aforementioned IAU definition of "planet" is rather poor). Sure, it was sad growing up with Pluto as a planet only to see it demoted (I was 11 years old when Pluto was demoted, but remember the model of the solar system with Pluto included hanging from my ceiling when I was very young), but if the vast majority of the scientific community believed that it was a dwarf planet, the general public would likely generally agree too. In the end though, what we call Pluto doesn't change what it is and it'll certainly be incredible to learn exponentially more than we currently do about Pluto over the next year and a half.
DH8A DH8B CR1 CR2 CR7 CR9 E45 E70 E75 E90 D93 M88 319 320 321 333 343 712 732 733 734 73G 738 739 744 752 753 762 763 77L 77W
 
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Stitch
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:15 pm

Quoting UA444 (Reply 151):
That is false. The further out you go, the harder it is to clear an orbit. Earth could not clear the Kuiper Belt that far out.

I was not arguing that a Mars-size object could sweep the Kuiper Belt, especially in it's entirety. I was arguing that it could clear an area around it's orbit - something Pluto cannot do, which is (one of) the reason(s) it is no longer considered a planet - to such an extent that the Kuiper Belt would likely not look like we believe it does. As in there would be a clear zone where the planet orbits - something like what the shepherd moons do with the rings of Saturn.
 
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:53 am

First surface photo:

http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/nh-plutosurface.png

Quote:
A snapshot of Pluto shows fresh deposits of water ice bedrock and 11,000-foot mountains, revealing evidence Pluto’s surface is one of the youngest in the solar system. Photo credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI

Photo of Charon:

http://spaceflightnow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/nh-charon.jpg

Quote:
New Horizons found few craters on the surface of Pluto’s Texas-sized moon Charon, evidence of recent geologic activity. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
TheSonntag
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:34 am

Charon really looks like the Death star... Amazing.

Just a question - I know it is not feasible with todays technology, since you would need tremendous amount of energy just to accelerate and decelerate, but could a Pluto orbiter be made with a space launch system class rocket?
 
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autothrust
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:07 pm

Here you can see the surface with color. Amazing pictures, can't wait to see what NH sends next.

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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:26 pm

Quoting UA444 (Reply 148):
Close to 400 signed it, more than those who voted in Prague

mmm... 400 people flew to Prague and voted yes, and a few more managed to send a petition in a decade. I´d say the definition is broadly accepted. Statistically speaking those petitioners are probably all members that disagree.

best regards
Thomas
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UA444
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:17 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 158):

Wrong. 424 were there out of more than 10,000 members and only 237 of those voted for it on a vote held on the last day of the conference. Most were not planetary scientists. And the petition was done just days after in 2006, so you are misinformed yet again. The definition is ignored by most of the scientific community and the public. The IAU is a joke.

[Edited 2015-07-16 08:18:25]
 
UA444
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:21 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 154):

Space is vast, Pluto's orbit is quite clear in the fact it isn't constantly running into things close by. Mars sized object couldn't clear the Kuiper Belt any better and would still be a "dwarf planet".

[Edited 2015-07-16 08:27:21]
 
nomadd22
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:44 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 156):

Just a question - I know it is not feasible with todays technology, since you would need tremendous amount of energy just to accelerate and decelerate, but could a Pluto orbiter be made with a space launch system class rocket?

Today's technology is fine. Time and money are the issue. To orbit Pluto would have taken a much larger launcher and also much more time because the trajectory would have been different and average speed would have been lower. With a decent power source, as in ten times the size of New Horizon's RTG, ion drive would help.
Anon
 
canoecarrier
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:48 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 158):
mmm... 400 people flew to Prague and voted yes, and a few more managed to send a petition in a decade. I´d say the definition is broadly accepted. Statistically speaking those petitioners are probably all members that disagree.

Not here to argue whether Pluto should or should not be a planet, but that meeting in Prague represented less than 5% of the IAU's voting membership.

I heard yesterday on Twitter that we won't likely see new photos today, but Friday we should get quite a bit more than what we saw yesterday.
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tommy1808
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:59 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 159):
Wrong. 424 were there out of more than 10,000 members and only 237 of those voted for it on a vote held on the last day of the conference. Most were not planetary scientists. And the petition was done just days after in 2006, so you are misinformed yet again.

mm... lets see whats easy to find out:

Quote:
Some people who were unhappy about the outcome of the vote organized a petition to protest the decision by the IAU. The petition was a colossal failure. Even though the organizers of the petition had access to over 9,000 IAU members, only 79 IAU members signed it, some people with no formal astronomy training signed it, and none of the members of the Planet Definition Committee signed it. Among the signatories is someone who believes that the influenza virus emanates from Venus and is blown to Earth by the solar wind. Collecting a number of signatures from random people cannot be compared to the thoughtful and official decision by the IAU membership.
Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 162):
Not here to argue whether Pluto should or should not be a planet, but that meeting in Prague represented less than 5% of the IAU's voting membership.

Every vote is a sample unless you have 100% attendance.

Quote:
The resolution was passed by an overwhelming majority of those in attendance, following the protocol in place for all IAU resolutions. As polling experts will tell you, polling the IAU assembly (over 400 present) captured the desire of the entire IAU membership (about 9,000 members) with a confidence interval better than 5%. Because the meeting had many scientific sessions, including sessions on the physical properties of asteroids, it was well attended by geophysicists and dynamicists alike, and there is no reason to believe that the voters did not form a representative sample of the entire IAU membership. The schedule for the discussions and vote had been well advertised. Any IAU member who had an interest in this issue was welcome to participate in the discussions and vote. Some people who did not vote have questioned the validity of the vote. If you did not bother to vote about an issue that you care so deeply about, are you entitled to complain about the outcome of the vote?
Quoting UA444 (Reply 159):
The definition is ignored by most of the scientific community and the public.

And that is why the scientific community didn´t bother to revisit the issue?

Quote:
The IAU did not receive requests to revisit the issue at the General Assembly in 2009 or 2012, and therefore did not schedule any further discussion.

from here: http://mel.ess.ucla.edu/jlm/epo/planet/planet.html

best regards
Thomas
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UA444
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:54 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 163):

Utterly biased tripe with no facts or sources. This issue is far from over and settled as they try to portray. I guess lying is what they do to cover insecurities about their stupidity. Especially fascinating is the ad hominem attacks on the overwhelming majority of those who oppose the IAU and the downright lies about everyone having gotten over the issues. 10 seconds on google this week shoot holes in his arguments.

[Edited 2015-07-17 15:58:06]
 
prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:50 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 164):

Dear UA444, get over it. This is only an arbitrary definition. Is it really so important to you whether Pluto is categorized as a small planet or a large dwarf planet?

If we don't want 20 planets today, and pretty soon 200 or 2000, then we need a definition to separate two categories. The IAU made that definition in 2006, and so far they never looked back. The lack of interest by most IAU members was simply caused by the fact that it isn't very interesting.

Astronomy is full of such arbitrary category definitions, right up to Black Holes vs Super Massive Black Holes.
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DocLightning
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:26 am

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 165):
Dear UA444, get over it. This is only an arbitrary definition. Is it really so important to you whether Pluto is categorized as a small planet or a large dwarf planet?

This: Who the hell cares?

It's Pluto. Whether you call it a planet or a dwarf planet does not change what it is. It just makes it a bit more awkward to lump it in with the other 8.

Pluto, planet or not, is also a Kuiper Belt Object. It orbits way out of the plane of the ecliptic. http://airandspace.si.edu/files/imag...crosites/etp/pluto-orbit-color.jpg

It is in orbital resonance with Neptune and is maintained in that orbital resonance by Neptune. It is very small, smaller than Earth's moon. It is the largest object in the Kuiper belt. Maybe it's a planet, maybe it isn't. It doesn't matter because that is far from the most interesting thing about it.

How about this rather puzzing feature on Charon. Maybe a low-speed collision between it and a small asteroid or KBO?
http://phenomena.nationalgeographic....5/07/16/charon-moon-mountain-moat/

Then there are these images of Sputnik Planum showing rather fresh, smooth ice plains. Why is Pluto so devoid of craters?
http://blog.seattlepi.com/bigscience.../#30870105=0&34171101=5&34291103=0

How come Charon has a dark patch at its north pole?
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2015/...162894-image-m-5_1436991156346.jpg

Where are these mountains from?
http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/15/us/nasa-new-horizons-pluto-flyby/

More and more data are coming back from this probe every hour and they are showing some fantastic shocking surprises. I'd rather focus on that.
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jul 18, 2015 4:59 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 151):
In a few million years, the moon and Earth will orbit just like Pluto/Charon.

If you mean the earth tidally locked to the moon, the skeptic in me says it's unlikely that in the 4 billion year history of the earth and moon, we're coincidentally within 0.1 percent of that happening.

From what I can gather, the sun will go nova billions of years from now before the moon is locked above on point on earth.
 
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:35 pm

Speaking of 'nova', I imagine PBS's NOVA episode on New Horizons will be of interest to some here:

http://video.pbs.org/video/2365527017/
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vikkyvik
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jul 18, 2015 8:46 pm

Quoting UA444 (Reply 164):
Utterly biased tripe with no facts or sources.

Right, because you provided so many sources in your posts.

Oh wait.

Seriously, who really cares if it's a planet or not?
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
canoecarrier
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Jul 18, 2015 10:14 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 166):
This: Who the hell cares?

It's Pluto. Whether you call it a planet or a dwarf planet does not change what it is. It just makes it a bit more awkward to lump it in with the other 8.

You and I are probably close to the same age. It was a planet when I was young, to me it always will be one regardless of whether or not the governing body decides it has a different title. That's fine. Astronomers can call it whatever they want and that's ok with me, I get that calling Pluto a planet may open the definition up to 200+ other objects in our galaxy.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 168):

Speaking of 'nova', I imagine PBS's NOVA episode on New Horizons will be of interest to some here:

I'll watch this tonight once the kiddos are asleep. I've probably listened to a dozen podcasts, half a dozen shows and NASA TV everyday. That is what the takeaway should be, New Horizons has excited everyone about space exploration again!

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 169):
Seriously, who really cares if it's a planet or not?

We all fund space exploration and arguably this is one of the most high profile space programs NASA has had in around a decade. Sometimes I look at academics and wonder if they lose track of the bigger picture. People that fund NASA through taxes are likely in my demographic, we grew up with Pluto being the only (dwarf) planet discovered by an American. It's an interesting system, if it doesn't get reclassified thats fine by me, but I'd be ok with a "Pluto Exception" and it being referred to as an inner system planet.

But, think of what we could get funded (e.g., NH2) if they took off their scientist hat.
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nomadd22
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:59 am

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 167):
If you mean the earth tidally locked to the moon, the skeptic in me says it's unlikely that in the 4 billion year history of the earth and moon, we're coincidentally within 0.1 percent of that happening.

No, he means the barycenter of the Earth/Moon system, or the point in space they'll both orbit will be above the Earth's surface when the moon moves about 50,000 miles further out. That's how most people define the difference between a planet/moon system and a double or binary planet. Tidal locking doesn't have anything to do with it.
What the rest of your babble means is a mystery.

Thanks for injecting some sense Doc.

[Edited 2015-07-18 18:00:37]
Anon
 
vikkyvik
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sun Jul 19, 2015 2:37 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 170):
But, think of what we could get funded (e.g., NH2) if they took off their scientist hat.

Whether it's a planet or not, I'm more in favor of maintaining scientific consistency and accuracy, rather than re-categorizing something to get funding.

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 170):
we grew up with Pluto being the only (dwarf) planet discovered by an American.

Quite honestly, that didn't even cross my mind. Astronomy is a worldwide science.
I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
 
TheSonntag
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sun Jul 19, 2015 1:42 pm

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 172):
Quite honestly, that didn't even cross my mind. Astronomy is a worldwide science.

Bear in mind that astronomy is a very old science, too. America was not even discovered when some of the planets were found.
 
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sun Jul 19, 2015 3:12 pm

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 170):
That is what the takeaway should be, New Horizons has excited everyone about space exploration again!

Absolutely!
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:31 pm

Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 173):
America was not even discovered when some of the planets were found.

Yup, and before that the Earth used to be flat.

Planets were re-categorised before. In old days they were "moving stars". Or rather "slow moving stars" as opposed to "fast moving stars", meteorites.

Only later they got categorised as objects orbiting the Sun.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:43 am

Quoting canoecarrier (Reply 170):
You and I are probably close to the same age. It was a planet when I was young, to me it always will be one regardless of whether or not the governing body decides it has a different title.

To me, too. "Nine Planets" is how I was raised.

But as I pointed out, none of that matters. What matters is the features and phenomena of Pluto and what it teaches us about the formation of our solar system.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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tommy1808
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:51 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 176):
To me, too. "Nine Planets" is how I was raised

I guess many people in here never ever had a problem with using "theory" in both the colloquial and the scientific meaning all the time, and that difference is a hell lot more meaningful than planet/dwarf planet. Emotionally Pluto is a planet. It also used to be bigger and heavier. Knowledge changes, so does taxonomy. Who cares, it is still the same pretty, icy ball. Of course we didn't know that either when i was a kid.

Best regards
Thomas
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ssteve
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:43 am

Quoting nomadd22 (Reply 171):
No, he means the barycenter of the Earth/Moon system, or the point in space they'll both orbit will be above the Earth's surface when the moon moves about 50,000 miles further out. That's how most people define the difference between a planet/moon system and a double or binary planet. Tidal locking doesn't have anything to do with it.
What the rest of your babble means is a mystery.

I missed the barycenter context, which is why I asked. It appeared to me that he was saying one hemisphere of the earth would permanently face the moon within a few million years.

You omitted one sentence, "From what I can gather, the sun will go nova billions of years from now before the moon is locked above on[e] point on earth. " My question was specifically about tidal locking. I wondered if there was some source predicting it within a few millions of years for the Earth.

Admittedly there are a lot of typos, but it's not babble. Sheesh. Ask an honest question and get slammed... I'm going to have to assume your knickers are twisted about some other tiff here I'm not a party to. Please keep it to yourselves.

[Edited 2015-07-20 17:45:02]
 
prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:20 am

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 167):
From what I can gather, the sun will go nova billions of years from now before the moon is locked above on point on earth,

The sun will never "go nova". In roughly four billion years it will change from "yellow dwarf" to "red giant", and a billion years later to "white dwarf".

A nova is a phenomenom which can happen to a close binary system, where one component is a white dwarf, and the other a main sequence star. It is caused by the accretion of hydrogen onto the surface of the white dwarf, commencing a runaway fusion reaction, creating an enormous increase in luminosity lasting typically day.

BTW, when talking re-classifying as dwarfs: Wonder how and when the IAU classified the sun as a dwarf. Sure it made less noise than when Pluto became a dwarf.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
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KarelXWB
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:42 am

Photos of Nix and Hydra:

http://pbs.twimg.com/media/CKdGv8IWwAA1rZM.jpg:large
What we leave behind is not as important as how we've lived.
 
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Stitch
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:12 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 179):
Wonder how and when the IAU classified the sun as a dwarf. Sure it made less noise than when Pluto became a dwarf.

The sun is considered a "dwarf" star because it is a luminosity V class main-sequence star as defined by the Morgan–Keenan classification system.
 
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ssteve
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:00 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 179):

The sun will never "go nova". In roughly four billion years it will change from "yellow dwarf" to "red giant", and a billion years later to "white dwarf".

Right. Was besides the point, but mea culpa. The sun will mutate into a red giant before the earth and moon orbit "like" Pluto and Charon for poorly constrained definitions of "like."

Carry on.
 
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DocLightning
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Aug 05, 2015 4:12 am

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 182):
The sun will mutate into a red giant

Technically, it's the misnamed "stellar evolution" since it really isn't evolution, but certainly not mutation.

(I'm kidding; I'm just being unnecessarily and gratuitously pedantic).  
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
nomadd22
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:23 pm

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 182):

Right. Was besides the point, but mea culpa. The sun will mutate into a red giant before the earth and moon orbit "like" Pluto and Charon for poorly constrained definitions of "like."

The "point" is wrong too.. It will be around 2.4 billion years from now that the Earth/Moon barycenter rises beyond the Earth's surface.
Anon
 
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Schweigend
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:54 am

Yay! Just six weeks after the Pluto encounter, NASA has selected its first Kuiper Belt Object for New Horizons to visit, known as "2014 MU69" -- about a billion miles beyond Pluto:

Quote:
Early target selection was important; the team needs to direct New Horizons toward the object this year in order to perform any extended mission with healthy fuel margins. New Horizons will perform a series of four maneuvers in late October and early November to set its course toward 2014 MU69 – nicknamed “PT1” (for “Potential Target 1”) – which it expects to reach on January 1, 2019. Any delays from those dates would cost precious fuel and add mission risk.

Quote:
New Horizons was originally designed to fly beyond the Pluto system and explore additional Kuiper Belt objects. The spacecraft carries extra hydrazine fuel for a KBO flyby; its communications system is designed to work from far beyond Pluto; its power system is designed to operate for many more years; and its scientific instruments were designed to operate in light levels much lower than it will experience during the 2014 MU69 flyby.

In depth article here:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php?page=20150828


Additionally, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory reports that more Pluto / Charon flyby images will be sent to us here on Earth starting this month:

Quote:
Why hasn’t this website included any new images from New Horizons since July? As planned, New Horizons itself is on a bit of a post-flyby break, currently sending back lower data-rate information collected by the energetic particle, solar wind and space dust instruments. It will resume sending flyby images and other data in early September.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/
 
canoecarrier
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Sep 10, 2015 7:46 pm

The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
canoecarrier
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:30 pm

Kind of hard to beat this photo they just released. Maybe one of the more amazing space photos ever.

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/nh-apluto-wide-9-17-15-final_0.png

11K foot tall icy mountains, active glaciation and you can see the atmosphere in the photo. No one thought we'd see this on Pluto.

[Edited 2015-09-18 12:35:07]
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tommy1808
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:43 pm

Quoting Canoecarrier (Reply 187):

Kind of hard to beat this photo they just released. Maybe one of the more amazing space photos ever.

and probably for most people the best Pluto pictures they will ever see in their lifetimes.

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canoecarrier
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:40 pm

Well one can only hope that in the next 40-50 years before my demise we'll fund another couple deep space explorations to a KBO, even NH could jump start this if Alan Stern and his crew pull off the flyby of another dwarf planet with NH in early 2019. I hope people 100 years from now care enough to revisit Pluto at a closer orbit in relation to the sun and see how this system functions. Amazing image(s) we're receiving now and it is less than 10% of what was collected.
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ssteve
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:49 pm

The KBO that NH will fly by, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_MU69, is by no means a dwarf planet. Sadly. It's pretty tiny. Since we didn't luck into a close flyby of any of Pluto's moons, so it might be like getting a closeup of Nix or Hydra.
 
nomadd22
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:00 am

Quoting Canoecarrier (Reply 189):
Well one can only hope that in the next 40-50 years before my demise we'll fund another couple deep space explorations to a KBO, even NH could jump start this if Alan Stern and his crew pull off the flyby of another dwarf planet with NH in early 2019. I hope people 100 years from now care enough to revisit Pluto at a closer orbit in relation to the sun and see how this system functions. Amazing image(s) we're receiving now and it is less than 10% of what was collected.

Just hope that Musk Or Bezos or someone succeeds in re-useable launchers. If it doesn't cost $200 million to get 4 tons of craft out of Earth orbit, you'll see a lot more deep missions. I doubt if there will ever be 500 million dollars available for a dedicated KBO mission.
Even a Pluto orbiter wouldn't be easy. Really high ISP craft use hydrogen, which isn't too friendly for a 10 year mission. An Ion drive that had enough thrust to achieve orbit would probably have to have a fission reactor. We need some of that secret rocket fuel that spies were always stealing from Soviet scientists in 60s movies.

[Edited 2015-09-18 18:05:40]
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prebennorholm
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:39 am

Quoting Canoecarrier (Reply 189):
I hope people 100 years from now care enough to revisit Pluto at a closer orbit in relation to the sun....

I wonder what you mean with that. Pluto is getting more and more distant and will pass aphelion late August 2113, so a hundred years from now it will be one and a half billion miles further away than today.

Next time it will be closer than today will be 196 years from now on it way to next perihelion in 2237.
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canoecarrier
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Mon Sep 21, 2015 7:28 pm

Quoting prebennorholm (Reply 192):
I wonder what you mean with that. Pluto is getting more and more distant and will pass aphelion late August 2113, so a hundred years from now it will be one and a half billion miles further away than today.

Next time it will be closer than today will be 196 years from now on it way to next perihelion in 2237.

My point (obviously unresearched) really was that I hope future generations visit the system again. One of the theories is that some of the processes we're observing on Pluto are driven by it's elliptical orbit taking it from 30 AU to 39 AU from the sun and the corresponding temperature variations.

We'd have to go back in the future to verify that at which time the surface features on Pluto may look completely different.
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DocLightning
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Fri Oct 02, 2015 5:15 am

Charon up close and personal.

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/nh-charon-neutral-bright-release.jpg

What an odd-looking little world with a wrinkled horizon and a planet-spanning chasm. So many mysteries.
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KarelXWB
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:46 pm

Latest image of Pluto, 5000 x 5000 pixels!

Click on the image for full resolution and enjoy the details:

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Multimedia/Science-Photos/pics/P_COLOR2_enhanced_release.jpg
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Schweigend
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Oct 17, 2015 3:18 am

Finally, we have the first scientific paper resulting from New Horizons:

Quote:
The New Horizons team describes a wide range of findings about the Pluto system in its first science paper, released today. “The Pluto System: Initial Results from its Exploration by New Horizons,” led by mission Principal Investigator Alan Stern, appears as the cover story in the Oct. 16 issue of Science, just three months after NASA’s historic first exploration of the Pluto system in July.
http://www.jhuapl.edu/newscenter/pressreleases/2015/151015.asp


The paper is fascinating to read, with technical data that I've been waiting for. This is just the beginning, since much, much more data will be returned over the next year, and analysis will take time. I subscribe to Science, and this really made my day!


The following quote is from the end of the first of two New Horizons pieces in this issue (the first piece is a report, the second is the full paper):

Quote:
New Horizons' best images are yet to come. Project scientist Hal Weaver, of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, says the highest resolution images, about 70 meters per pixel, are scheduled to be downloaded in November. Meanwhile, the New Horizons team is looking ahead to other KBOs. Over 2 weeks beginning on 22 October, New Horizons will change course toward a New Year's Day 2019 rendezvous with 2014 MU69, an object less than 50 kilometers across. Weaver says the team plans to send the spacecraft within 20,000 kilometers of the object. (It flew within 12,500 kilometers of Pluto.)

In the meantime, New Horizons will be keeping its eyes open. En route to 2014 MU69, it ought to see about a dozen KBOs at least as well as the Hubble Space Telescope can. Although the images will be little more than points of light, they should reveal information about the objects' surface textures, as well as whether they are binaries, as most KBOs are suspected to be.

The current issue - Science, 16 October 2015, vol. 350, issue 6258, pages 249-352 - is available at:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/350/6258/260.full
(members / subscribers only)


You can view the cover and table of contents of the current issue at:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/current


Since Science is a journal, it is not free on the Internet, but the issue can be accessed online for $20. Cover price for the full print edition is only $10, if you can find a good newsstand!
 
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KarelXWB
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:34 am

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 196):
New Horizons' best images are yet to come
Quoting Schweigend (Reply 196):
says the highest resolution images, about 70 meters per pixel

 Wow! Wow, and I found the photo above already impressive.
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Schweigend
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:14 pm

Quoting KarelXWB (Reply 197):
Wow, and I found the photo above already impressive.

I agree! That is an amazing and detailed full-disc image, and it makes my mouth water for more.

The 70m/px images will be focused on selected areas of Pluto and Charon. I'm sure the targets will be very interesting, even if they were chosen before the encounter.

I'm also curious to see the images of the night-side of Pluto, illuminated by "Charon-shine", as promised. We've already seen a magnificent image of the day-lit limb of Pluto from behind, with sharp ice mountains and mist (first linked by Canoecarrier in post 187 above):


http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Multimedia/Science-Photos/pics/Pluto-Wide-FINAL-9-17-15.jpg


Waiting in suspense for the downloads is terribly exciting -- very different from what we've had with the Voyagers, Galileo, Cassini, etc., when the data was here within days.


  

[Edited 2015-10-17 17:06:05]
 
TheSonntag
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Official New Horizons Discussion Thread Part 1

Tue Oct 20, 2015 1:33 pm

I wonder how the images of Neptune and Uranus would look like with a LORRI-type digital camera. No doubt Voyager was at the edge of what was possible in the 1970s (and is still working today), but the technology was not there yet.

Those pictures are absolutely magnificent.

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