Poor Little Ole' Pluto.

Discussion in 'Beachfront Hangout' started by le Roi-Soleil, Apr 18, 2015.

  1. le Roi-Soleil PokéBeach Staff Alumnus
    le Roi-Soleil

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    Poor little ole' Pluto.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    So, let's talk about the New Horizons flyby of Pluto, which is expected to occur on July 14, 2015. Ever since I was a child, I've always been interested in space. Back in 2000, when I first started learning how to use a computer (yes, I was two), I had a CD-ROM (wow, that is outdated) called Planetarium. I used it zealously to chart my way through the Solar System, vigorously learning as much as I could about each planet, all the way up until the ripe age of eight.

    Of course, that's when Pluto was demoted.

    Well, I suppose you could say I've been an amateur astronomer since birth, but I've never taken keen interest in Pluto, as I have in Mercury, say. I honestly think it's because we've had no acceptable images of Pluto, but come this summer, that will change.

    Above is an image taken on April 9, 2015, by New Horizons. I've kept up with this probe ever since its launch in January of 2006, and I suppose it's driving me into new horizons, as well, as I've now taken particular interest in our most famous Trans-Neptunian Object.

    What do you anticipate about this historic event?

    #PlutoIsStillAPlanet
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
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  2. Chaos Jackal Legend of the Past
    Chaos Jackal

    Member

    While of course images from the last planet of the System are important, there isn't really much that has led us to believe that Pluto is anything more than a chunk of very cold rock. It doesn't have Mercury's extreme top and low end temperatures and day cycles, Venus' unique atmosphere and conditions, Mars' red ground, evidence for water in the past and ice on the poles, or the giant planets' violent surface and rings. Pluto's special characteristics are its distance from the sun and its unique orbit (which was also part of the reason he was demoted back in the day).

    Perhaps the photos will reveal entirely unexpected things, but overall, I don't expect much. It's more like the importance lies on the event itself. A craft is making a flyby close to more or less the last object in the territory of our system (unless you count the Kuiper belt). After Voyager's flyby of every planet up to Neptune nearly 30 years ago, it's the first time a craft performs such a feat, and goes about to complete it by taking photos of the only place Voyager didn't visit.
     
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  3. Mitja veteran smartass
    Mitja

    Member

    The main reason it's a dwarf planet is that we've found way too many others of similar small but still somewhat noteworthy size. If we call Pluto a planet, then we would have to do the same for an amount of other objects that would overshadow the ones we actually call planets. So we call these smaller ones dwarf planets or plutoids instead.
     
  4. Friezy Super Saiyan 3
    Friezy

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    The real question should be, what are those white dots found on Ceres? Most seem to speculate cryovolcanic activity, but we are talking about our hydrostatic equilibrium buddy in the midst of rock and dust. Why is Pluto worthy of attention? It's already had its time in the limelight.
     
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  5. le Roi-Soleil PokéBeach Staff Alumnus
    le Roi-Soleil

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    This—this interests me, as well. Ceres has always been such an elusive object, and if you ask the populous what it is, you'd get blank stares all around. Quite frankly, I don't think we've put enough time into studying our dwarf planets, particularly those in the Kuiper Belt, like Eris and its satellite, Dysnomia. Simply, no one cares about the greatness of humanity and all of the frontiers we've conquered an have yet to conqer. Now, we've no excuse to not invest more research into Ceres and her inner workings, and really, we need to launch studies of our entire asteroid belt.

    Pluto is significant because we want to say "WE'VE BEEN THERE!" Many see it "the last frontier" of our solar system, but they are gravely mistaken.

    Also, although I greatly appreciate it, I do not need an explanation as to why Pluto is classified as a "dwarf planet." The hashtag was sarcastic.
     
  6. Chaos Jackal Legend of the Past
    Chaos Jackal

    Member

    Saying "We've been there!" is always important for vanity reasons. Space exploration in itself revolves a lot around the concept. Ceres is a whole different story. We're talking of a more or less larger asteroid, which no matter joins Europa in the list of objects in the system that may have liquid water. And Ceres is given attention. Dawn orbits the planet as we speak, taking photos and collecting information. NASA has said that cryovolcanic activity is unlikely, but there's more than just that, and they know it. Considering the fact that Europa hasn't been probed, it is unlikely that something like this will happen with Ceres anytime soon; it is not an easy task to probe the large ice covers of both objects, not to mention the danger of disrupting a possible ecosystem buried beneath the carapace. As it is right now, Ceres is given all the attention she can by astronomers. That may not be the issue with the public, but the public wants something like a grand achievement. Flying by Pluto can be given such a status, and this is why it is given some public attention. Now, possibility of water under a surface we probably won't probe for decades to come? And on an object that nobody with more than the basic eight/nine planets knowledge knows about? Nope, it's not really something that draws attention.
     
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  7. Shining Raikou Your friendly neighborhood Raikou fan!
    Shining Raikou

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    Oh when will they stop the dumbing down of things that are great? When will they notice the pure magnificence of Pluto and that you don't have to be big to be important? Anywho, we just need to hold our dear Pluto close to our hearts. It doesn't matter what they say. Pluto wins out in the hearts and minds of a generation.

    "Pluto, I need you back.”
    Pluto: “I never left.”
     
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  8. bbninjas Ready or Not!
    bbninjas

    Advanced Member Member

    Personally I remember learning about Pluto - as a proper planet - six years ago. We then went to a Planetarium on a school excursion to watch a kid show, and much to our surprise, we learnt that Pluto didn't count as a planet, but a dwarf planet. Anyway, Pluto has always had a special place in my heart as a planet after that little scenario :)
     
  9. Ice Arceus #Jovimohnaeliackvid
    Ice Arceus

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    NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is continuing to approach Pluto. Today, NASA posted the following picture which shows the color of Pluto being closer to orange/red rather than being gray as previously assumed, and slightly more details of the landscape. Considering one day on Pluto is approximately 6.5 Earth days, we should be seeing this location when New Horizons reaches its closest encounter on July 14th.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-new-horizons-a-heart-from-pluto-as-flyby-begins
     
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  10. Awww, Pluto's blushing because of the camera. :3
     
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  11. le Roi-Soleil PokéBeach Staff Alumnus
    le Roi-Soleil

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    LUCY, I'M HOOOOOOME!
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  12. Shining Raikou Your friendly neighborhood Raikou fan!
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    Wow, it's so cool to finally see it in color. I remember books showing Pluto as all kinds of colors when I was in school reading about planets in the Library. What a pretty little planet!
     
  13. Yeah, I remember learning in school that Pluto was blue. We probably assumed that because it's so cold way out there.... Cool to see it's actually reddish-orangish.

    I'm getting excited for the flyby next Tuesday.
     
  14. As of right now, we're only 9 hours away!
     
  15. Ice Arceus #Jovimohnaeliackvid
    Ice Arceus

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    One of the final images taken before New Horizons closest flyby.

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. So exciting! I can't wait for NASA's massive high-res images of the surface to be released.
     
  17. Shining Raikou Your friendly neighborhood Raikou fan!
    Shining Raikou

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