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New Horizons Pluto System Final Approach, 28 Jun-13 Jul 15
JRehling
post Jul 11 2015, 10:19 PM
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Pluto is 55% bigger than Rhea and 5500% weirder.

The border between bright and dark areas gives the impression that the bright is higher altitude than the dark, but it's so gnarled and twisted that it may be the other way around. That's assuming that all the brights are alike and all the darks are alike. Color might give more clues.

Are those Crow, Tom Servo, and Joel sitting in front of Pluto at lower right?
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Steve5304
post Jul 11 2015, 10:24 PM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Jul 11 2015, 09:38 PM) *
[attachment=36753:nh_pluto_7_11_15.jpg]

I'm with you, Julius, those almost looks like lakes... I know they're not... but wow...






Why not. They could be lakes of neon or oxygen. At plutos temperature those things are liquid. Ahwell we should know monday.


Some pretty respectable voices have hypothesisd neon lakes
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Julius
post Jul 11 2015, 10:24 PM
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Those flow like features seem to have their origin from polygonal structures within the ice analogous to the chaotic terrain on Mars giving rise to flash flood features( or perhaps glaciers even) the likes of ares vallis.
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0101Morpheus
post Jul 11 2015, 10:25 PM
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Charon seems to have more similarities to Triton than Pluto does. Both bodies seem to have been captured and experienced significant heating that resurfaced them with that present jagged football pattern. Pluto very likely has had heating too, but has gone about it differently.
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JTN
post Jul 11 2015, 10:26 PM
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The three-tone thing going on on Pluto is reminding me of Zin Maculae? on Triton. (Although the albedo progression is different: Triton does darkest-lightest-medium, Pluto does darkest-medium-lightest.)
Attached Image
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scalbers
post Jul 11 2015, 10:29 PM
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The above image indeed shows Zin Maculae on the right, then Tangaroa center and Akupara Maculae on the left. What is the prevailing explanation of these features?

Looks like 4 main categories of brightness on Pluto that might each be compositionally distinctive. The darkest spots, the medium gray surrounding areas. Then the northern "cantaloupe" terrain with its brighter and darker segments. Will be interesting to piece this together with all the strange morphologies.


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Mercure
post Jul 11 2015, 10:32 PM
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Does anything come out of the dark areas if brightness is dialled up? - If no it could be indicative of a uniform surface which would possibly mean an ocean of sorts.
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Bjorn Jonsson
post Jul 11 2015, 10:32 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Jul 11 2015, 10:19 PM) *
Pluto is 55% bigger than Rhea and 5500% weirder.


Well, at least at this resolution Pluto seems to be one of the most strange-looking and weird solar system bodies I've ever seen. Should look exteremely interesting at high resolution. It's also interesting that Charon is now showing more signs of craters than Pluto (maybe because of very few craters on Pluto?).

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Ian R
post Jul 11 2015, 10:35 PM
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As much as I want to believe in neon lakes, I reckon that this is the most likely cause of these features:

Attached Image


Taken from:

https://youtu.be/R6FFdLM_d-U?t=18m53s


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Habukaz
post Jul 11 2015, 10:40 PM
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The latest image, even more so than the previous one, is so strange that I barely know what to say. Part of the problem is that many of the smaller features are not resolved properly - we can't really tell what their real shapes are, or if indeed they actually 'exist'.

On another note, as is easily seen in the image below, there are hints of (weird!) structure within the central-western dark spot:

Attached Image

The dark spots further east may well be similar in structure.



QUOTE (Julius @ Jul 12 2015, 12:14 AM) *
It is evident that some fluid has flowed from underneath the ice down onto the dark areas. 'Tears of pluto 'if you like.


It is a possibility, but it is certainly not 'evident' with the data we have.

QUOTE (Steve5304 @ Jul 12 2015, 12:24 AM) *
Why not. They could be lakes of neon or oxygen. At plutos temperature those things are liquid.


It's a bit more complicated than that. Pressure is also part of the equation (some relevant plots were posted some pages back).


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Mongo
post Jul 11 2015, 10:45 PM
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QUOTE (Mercure @ Jul 11 2015, 11:32 PM) *
Does anything come out of the dark areas if brightness is dialled up? - If no it could be indicative of a uniform surface which would possibly mean an ocean of sorts.


Here is the image with brightness increased 100%, contrast increased +40 and gamma reduced to 0.85. There definitely seems to be structure in the dark patches.
Attached thumbnail(s)
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0101Morpheus
post Jul 11 2015, 10:47 PM
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That is the side of Pluto that is going to be in the textbooks. You can count on that.
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MahFL
post Jul 11 2015, 10:48 PM
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QUOTE (Habukaz @ Jul 11 2015, 09:39 PM) *


Since that pic was taken NH is 0.6 million miles closer...
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xflare
post Jul 11 2015, 10:52 PM
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Lets hope the other side of Pluto is just as weird and interesting looking haha
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Habukaz
post Jul 11 2015, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE (0101Morpheus @ Jul 12 2015, 12:47 AM) *
That is the side of Pluto that is going to be in the textbooks. You can count on that.


I'd be surprised if the other side of Pluto doesn't have a lot of the same stuff. Remember that the resolution we last saw for the approach hemisphere was significantly lower than what we now have for this side of Pluto; a lot of structures are just waiting to jump out at us in the coming days.


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