Dwarf Planet news (Pluto, Ceres, etc) - VeggieBoards

Dwarf Planet news (Pluto, Ceres, etc)

Tom's Avatar Tom
09:25 AM 07-11-2015
I thought some people might be interested in discussing these. Here are two links about Pluto and Ceres, both of which are in the news lately:


http://time.com/3954477/nasa-pluto-new-horizons-planet/


http://aviationweek.com/blog/dawn-pr...entation-issue
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David3's Avatar David3
10:52 AM 07-11-2015
Wow, the Dawn space probe has ion engines http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/ion_prop.asp . Just like TIE fighters (TIE = Twin Ion Engines), though not nearly as strong.


According to the NASA webpage, Dawn's ion engines delivery a thrust of only 90mN (about 0.02 pounds). The ion engines' weak thrust is still very effective for making trajectory adjustments, and it is powered by electricity from Dawn's solar panels. I feel this is nerd-tastic.

NASA photo of ion engine (not sci-fi, but real stuff!):




Humanity is amazing sometimes (but not usually). Not sure how exploring Pluto is going to help solve our fundamental socioeconomic problems.
Tom's Avatar Tom
05:08 PM 07-13-2015
Pretty soon, New Horizons will be starting its pre-programmed flurry of activity during its close approach to Pluto. I initially thought it would be going into radio silence for this because its onboard computer would be so busy, but evidently, it's because it needs to orient itself towards Pluto and Charon during the flyby, and won't be oriented for transmission to Earth. It will send messages/images to Earth on Wednesday, but considering it went into partial shutdown ("safe" mode) about a week ago, this will be a nervous time at NASA. But if I remember right, it will take New Horizons WEEKS to transmit all the info it will be collecting over the next 24 hours.

It's amazing how much more detailed the latest images are compared to even two weeks ago.
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Dave in MPLS's Avatar Dave in MPLS
11:35 PM 07-14-2015
A while ago they let people vote on names for the physical features we'll be seeing in closeups. I voted for a bunch, but I'm pulling for Z'ha'dum (the planet of the Shadows in Babylon 5) and セーラープルート (Sailor Pluto from Bishoujo Senshi Sailormoon) make the cut.

Now that I think about it, BOB would have been appropriate. Too late now. Mount BOB. Sea of BOB. That'd be cool. Or just call something the Black Lodge. Dang, NOW I think of it.
Tom's Avatar Tom
05:11 PM 07-15-2015
Z'ha'dum would have been cool. Wasn't BOB the name of the planet that the Titan ship made at the end of "Titan A.E."?

A lot of the names that have been entered for newly-discovered features on Pluto seem to be from mythology or horror (Cthulhu was suggested as a name for that whale-shaped pattern, for example.)
Dave in MPLS's Avatar Dave in MPLS
11:31 PM 07-15-2015
They had a number of categories of name origins they wanted people to consider. I remember mythology, "the underworld", explorers, and fiction. I forget what that last one actually was called, but included the media type references.

Here's a bit on the names NASA has been using informally, for anyone who hasn't seen it.
Tom's Avatar Tom
09:44 AM 07-18-2015
And here's another update from the Ceres mission:

http://news.yahoo.com/dawn-probe-bac...223658980.html

I have to admit Pluto had most of my attention lately, but there's something fascinating about the asteroid belt, and particularly about Ceres.
Tom's Avatar Tom
04:46 PM 09-15-2015
http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/15/93...bsurface-ocean

Okay, this isn't about dwarf planets, although Ceres is suspected of having water. Tis link is about the growing evidence for water beneath the surfaces of several of Jupiter and Saturn's moons.
Tom's Avatar Tom
04:23 PM 09-23-2015
This link is to a video simulation of a flight over Pluto, created from a number of still images (taken by New Horizons during its flyby), and put together by one of the mission scientists, I think:

http://www.space.com/30593-new-pluto...ges-video.html

You have to sit through a commercial for a minute, but the video is well done and ponts out some of the newly discovered and named features of this dwarf planet. Pluto is turning out to be a very interesting place- and come to think of it, so is everyplace else our probes have been visiting lately: Mars, Mercury, Ceres, the moons of the outer planets...
LedBoots's Avatar LedBoots
04:49 PM 09-23-2015
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom View Post
This link is to a video simulation of a flight over Pluto, created from a number of still images (taken by New Horizons during its flyby), and put together by one of the mission scientists, I think:

http://www.space.com/30593-new-pluto...ges-video.html

You have to sit through a commercial for a minute, but the video is well done and ponts out some of the newly discovered and named features of this dwarf planet. Pluto is turning out to be a very interesting place- and come to think of it, so is everyplace else our probes have been visiting lately: Mars, Mercury, Ceres, the moons of the outer planets...
Wow, that's very cool! I have always loved distant Pluto.
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