New Horizons probe has reached and surpassed Pluto!

Nerevar

Sonata Dusk
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Aug 27, 2005
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#1
New Horizon's is the fastest vehicle ever built by mankind, and it's now on its way to the outer Solar System. It only took seconds to for its fly-by of Pluto, however it captured numerous high-quality images of the planet and it's largest Moon Charon. Finally, all 9 (original) planets have now been closely investigated. It's a good day for science.



* It will take months for NASA to stream the data of the images back to Earth.
* Pluto seems to have erosion factors. Its surface appears much 'younger' than Charon.
* They're not sure if there's any geo-activity (volcanoes or tectonic movement).
* It rains on Pluto. It has weather systems.
* There is a thin atmosphere, however it's comprised of nitrogen so it's invisible.
* Nasa would love to send a rover to Pluto but it poses massive challenges. It could be 40 years from now.

Edit: NASA planned the fly-by so that when it passes behind Pluto, Charon will be in the right location to bounce light from the Sun onto Pluto's night side allowing a near-full capture of the planet.

NASA's livestream about it can be found here.


Youtube mirror.
 
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podsaurus

El Presidente
Jul 2, 2008
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#3
The pictures when they come in should be really cool. Poor Pluto has been neglected for so long then got kicked out of the planet club. I hope we end up finding something unique about Pluto one day.

Sent from 2000ft under the crust
 

Vyse

Extreme Poster
Mar 27, 2006
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#5
It's pretty cool to see clear a clear image of Pluto after all these years.

I wonder sometimes if, despite not seeing any intelligent life on the surface of planets like Mars, there are ancient cities and fossils yet to be discovered underground.
 

Varsh

Editor /Tech Adviser
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Jan 5, 2006
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#6
[QUOTE="podsaurus, post: 6460786]I hope we end up finding something unique about Pluto one day.[/QUOTE]

Considering that it rains is quite a unique fact about Pluto. I would've thought that being so far out from the Sun that everything would be frozen.
 

Nerevar

Sonata Dusk
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Aug 27, 2005
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#7
It's not water that's raining on it. Possibly nitrogen, but I really don't know. Pluto has a very strange atmosphere (it's very large but has low density) and the rain it has is probably continuous in small amounts.
 

Varsh

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Jan 5, 2006
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#8
It most likely is Nitrogen but still I would've thought that even that would've been frozen being so far from the Sun. Perhaps it rains only when certain areas are shown to the Sun and it's frozen on the other side.
 

Nerevar

Sonata Dusk
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Aug 27, 2005
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#9
Pluto can reach temperatures cold enough (-233c to -223c) to freeze nitrogen (-210c), but that's at Earth's sea-level pressure. Below that it becomes harder to form liquids or solids because they can boil away more easily. With the warming/cooling of its day/night cycle it could perhaps create weather systems where lower-mid atmosphere particles form liquids that fall, frosts the surface, then evaporates some when the sun comes around.

That's purely my speculation. I don't have anything to back it up. I'm sure NASA will have something credible out soon.
 
Jun 4, 2007
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#10
[QUOTE="Brandon, post: 6460799]Would be funny if there was life on Pluto.

Anyway, that's fantastic. :)[/QUOTE]lol Nasa zooms in on someone giving them "the moon" lmao
 

Vyse

Extreme Poster
Mar 27, 2006
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#11
Did you know the New Horizons probe was powered by the original PlayStation's processor? The repurposed MIPS R3000 CPU was used to control thrusters, track sensors and beam data back to Earth.
 
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