What if?

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This topic contains 85 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Strega 5 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #117

    Davis
    Moderator

    The most famous Plutoid

    Seven days to go until we have a sparkling crisp image of Pluto. We now know it is reddish with her contrasting colours as well as yet unexplained dark patches around the equator. Here is a countdown and most recent updates.

    I’m excited because many of us have read about and seen images and documentaries of all of the planets and notable moons. And there is no green light mission yet to drill through any non-earth surface and take a look at warm oceans underneath. It’s our soonest chance to be (though quite indubitably unlikely) shocked.

    How would you react of the following things resulted?

    1. Some freaky monster (space dragon, freaky alien, Borg, jihadist) intercepts the satellite.

    2. Pluto turns out to have clear artificial light on the surface?

    3. God has been hiding out all his time on Pluto and says hello to the modern world

    4. Elvis is performing an imterstellar sold out concert on its moon Chiron and we are the last to arrive (forced to observe in the nosebleed section as we try to slow down during the fly by)

    5. The planet(oid) is completely unremarkable.

    6. Pluto shows some fascinating geological features, our figures and measurements will need updating and we see some delightful images.

    7. Unseen’s long lost twin is waiting there proving for once and for all that he is not from Earth ?

    • This topic was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by  Davis.
    #123

    cecilia fx
    Participant

    we always find interesting things when we explore. However, the likelihood of supernatural creatures hiding out in or on Pluto is slim.

    reality is always way more interesting

    #126

    Thy Plague Doctor
    Participant

    5 and 6 is more likely with 6 being the most likely… 😛 Still it would be awesome to see a few of the other things listed here.

    #128

    Simon Mathews
    Participant

    Ha ha, number 7. How could you diss Unseen like that? He’s a legend.

    #143

    Gallup’s Mirror
    Participant

    1. Some freaky monster (space dragon, freaky alien, Borg, jihadist) intercepts the satellite.

    <object classid=”clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000″ codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0″ width=”425″ height=”359″>
    <param name=”movie” value=”http://www.pizn.com/swf/1-space-invaders.swf”>
    <param name=”quality” value=”high”>
    <embed src=”http://www.pizn.com/swf/1-space-invaders.swf” width=”425″ height=”359″ align=”center” quality=”high” pluginspage=”http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash”></embed>
    </object><br />

    2. Pluto turns out to have clear artificial light on the surface?

    Wait for the Mormons to announce plans to send a rocket load of missionaries.

    3. God has been hiding out all his time on Pluto and says hello to the modern world

    Captain Kirk ran into this once before.

    4. Elvis is performing an imterstellar sold out concert on its moon Chiron and we are the last to arrive (forced to observe in the nosebleed section as we try to slow down during the fly by)

    Arm photon torpedoes and open fire. Elvis is evil.

    5. The planet(oid) is completely unremarkable.

    Like a twin of planet Earth? How dreadful.

    6. Pluto shows some fascinating geological features, our figures and measurements will need updating and we see some delightful images.

    Nothing I see on Pluto could delight me unless the probe finds most of the Republican party is stranded there.

    7. Unseen’s long lost twin is waiting there proving for once and for all that he is not from Earth

    I’ve never seen Unseen. Nobody has. Visual confirmation is un-possible.

    #156

    Davis
    Moderator

    @simon re: unseen. A joke like this is a sign of affection. I would take it as a bizarre compliment. ?

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by  Davis.
    #158

    Davis
    Moderator

    @gallupmirror Lmao

    #161

    Davis
    Moderator

    Here is a detailed relief of one section

    Here is the most detailed globe yet

    #202

    Davis
    Moderator

    And now with even better resolution

    #205

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    It’s going to be interesting to find out what causes the reddish/tan color.

    #321

    Davis
    Moderator

    And now a clear (though distant) view of Pluto and its moon (twin). Oh the awe

    Note how relatively close they are to one another and how similar they are in size. Perhaps Charon appears very large in the Pluto sky? I don’t know how to do the calculations (perhaps someone here does?).

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by  Davis.
    #372

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    You are quite correct. In fact, this is much more a “double planet” than the Earth-Moon system ever dreamed of being.

    I could do the calculation, if I knew the distance and diameter of Charon.

    (*checks Wikipedia, which must surely be getting edited hourly on this topic right now.)

    1207 km wide at a distance of 19571 km (center to center). However, you have to subtract Pluto’s radius from that number, because that’s where you’re standing when Charon is directly overhead. That’s 1184 km. So the distance from our hypothetical observer to the center of Charon is 18,387 km

    Simply divide, and you’ll get 1207/18,387 = 0.0656. That’s in radians, in degrees, it’s 3.76. That turns out to be 7.5 times as wide as the full moon (or the Sun) as seen by us here on Earth.

    [Note: this is a back of the envelope calculation, and doesn’t account for the fact that Charon’s limb, as seen from Pluto, is going to be a bit closer than its center is. Plus there’s always the chance I made some silly error of fact or of computation that someone will come along and correct (and if so, thanks in advance).]

    And yes, that’s a spectacular picture. It shows a sharpness of detail that will be great to see as the spacecraft gets closer over the next few days. I hope it survives long enough to return all of the data it is collecting, as mentioned before there is some non-zero but otherwise unquantifiable debris hazard when it goes through the system.

    #379

    Davis
    Moderator

    Steve in Co. Thanks a million not just for doing the calculations but explaining them (how to approach the problem). CHEEEEEEERS!!!!!

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by  Davis.
    #410

    Davis
    Moderator

    So many interesting (compelling?) features.

    #412

    SteveInCO
    Participant

    I’m going to guess, from the color of that picture, that it is of Charon, not Pluto.

    I was born just over 50 years ago. I don’t think I remember Apollo 11, but I do remember Apollo 12. And Pioneer 10 and 11 probes to Jupiter and Jupiter and Saturn, respectively. And the two Voyager probes (and I still want to call them V’ger, but that’s another issue). And Viking.

    We’ve gone from probes to the moon, Venus and Mars to probes over all eight of the other bodies I thought of as planets, growing up, in my lifetime. This is in many ways closure, at last we’ve got them all. What a triumph!

    Of course there is much to learn about all of these bodies. It will be interesting to see if we return to Uranus and Neptune any time in my lifetime.

    (PS I side with the people who reclassified Pluto. I don’t think of it as a demotion; it’s the “flagship” of a new class of objects. And, personally, I think gas giants and rocky “terrestrial” planets should be in different categories too.)

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