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New Horizons Pluto System Final Approach, 28 Jun-13 Jul 15
ZLD
post Jul 8 2015, 05:19 AM
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In case anyone missed it, an official map has been posted in the latest news update.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/new-horizons-m...e-and-the-donut


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wildespace
post Jul 8 2015, 08:37 AM
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QUOTE (ZLD @ Jul 8 2015, 06:19 AM) *
In case anyone missed it, an official map has been posted in the latest news update.

http://www.nasa.gov/feature/new-horizons-m...e-and-the-donut


Thanks for heads-up. Here's a rearranged version of the global map, centered on the dark spots:

Attached Image


It's interesting to note that the dark spots are directly opposite the large bright area on Pluto. The dark spots themselves seem to be part of the complex of the dark material stretched along the equator. I wonder what forces played role in the formation of that complex.

How does the location of the dark spots (and the bright area) relate to the side that always faces Charon?



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Habukaz
post Jul 8 2015, 09:11 AM
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Intriguingly, the longest stretch of the dark equatorial band has a "weak spot" in its centre: the concentration of the dark stuff seems to be lower here. Yet, it is also here that the north-south extent of the band is at it's greatest - it's as if someone has smudged out this part.

Attached Image

Edit: I see NH is demanding attention right now laugh.gif:


Attached Image


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RotoSequence
post Jul 8 2015, 10:23 AM
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QUOTE (Habukaz @ Jul 8 2015, 02:11 AM) *
Edit: I see NH is demanding attention right now laugh.gif:


Attached Image


I don't think I've ever seen that before. Why do they need the entire installation at Goldstone for New Horizons?
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MahFL
post Jul 8 2015, 11:16 AM
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QUOTE (RotoSequence @ Jul 8 2015, 10:23 AM) *
I don't think I've ever seen that before. Why do they need the entire installation at Goldstone for New Horizons?


Might have something to do with the fact that the flyby is only 6 days away.
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paraisosdelsiste...
post Jul 8 2015, 11:20 AM
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They are using the array mode to improve the reception of the signal sent from the New Horizons spacecraft.
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belleraphon1
post Jul 8 2015, 11:55 AM
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They could be downloading more data to free up space pre-close encounter.
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JimOberg
post Jul 8 2015, 12:28 PM
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When do we expect the next image?
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Habukaz
post Jul 8 2015, 12:41 PM
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I don't think we have any time. Whenever they decide to send the raw images through the publishing system; which could be anywhere from right now to tomorrow, or even later.


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belleraphon1
post Jul 8 2015, 12:55 PM
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There is a daily update at 11:30 am Eastern on NASA TV. They may be holding off until then.
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JRehling
post Jul 8 2015, 02:06 PM
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Curiouser and curiouser.

The features on the map seem, so far, to relate longitudinally to the rotation/revolution with respect to Charon:

Bright: Around the Anti-Charon point.
Dark (Whale): Trailing hemisphere.
Dark spots: Leading hemisphere.

This could be coincidental, but leading/trailing/sub/anti effects have been seen elsewhere. Venus, Mars, and Titan all have equatorial topographical complexes, but "weather" as well as geology can create equatorial albedo patterns.

Leading/trailing effects can have to do with impacts preferentially hitting the leading side vs the trailing side, but that shouldn't make an elongated pattern along the equator, but more of a "spot" near 90W. Still, this makes me curious about the average speed of impactors out at Pluto distance versus the speed of Pluto's revolution. Certainly Charon revolves much faster than Pluto, so any such effect would be even more amplified there.

The other leading/trailing effect we see is with particles and fields among the Galileans pertains to Jupiter's magnetic field sweeping past the Galileans, which revolve much more slowly than Jupiter rotates. New Horizons doesn't have a magnetometer, but even if there were a magnetic field out there, it shouldn't be rotating faster than Pluto/Charon revolve.

Maybe the leading/trailing pattern is coincidental.

A famous sub/anti effect is visible on the Moon, where the tidal lock led to the lowest topography settling on the sub-Earth side, which allowed pooled lava to settle preferentially there (in basins) and thereby exhibit the albedo pattern we know so well. A bright spot on Pluto could be a basin where brighter material pooled.

The leading/trailing/sub/anti patterns could be coincidental, but even at this resolution, it seems pretty neatly lined up.
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squirreltape
post Jul 8 2015, 02:15 PM
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QUOTE (JimOberg @ Jul 8 2015, 01:28 PM) *
When do we expect the next image?


According to the New Horizons image archive page ( http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/soc/Pluto-Encounter/ ), the images will generally be up within 48hrs of them coming in to NH Science Operations Centre.


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MahFL
post Jul 8 2015, 02:24 PM
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QUOTE (squirreltape @ Jul 8 2015, 02:15 PM) *
According to the New Horizons image archive page ( http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/soc/Pluto-Encounter/ ), the images will generally be up within 48hrs of them coming in to NH Science Operations Centre.


Dr. Stern mentioned an image release after 4pm, not sure which time zone, but the image taken on 7/7 has not been released, assuming it was taken ok. I don't think he meant the "whale" release as that's from images before 7/7.
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pitcapuozzo
post Jul 8 2015, 02:30 PM
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QUOTE (MahFL @ Jul 8 2015, 04:24 PM) *
Dr. Stern mentioned an image release after 4pm, not sure which time zone


I'm guessing EDT, as that's the timezone of mission control at Laurel, Maryland.
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fred_76
post Jul 8 2015, 03:30 PM
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Images from the 3rd July 23:30.

This one shows the full orbits of the plutonian system :
Attached Image


This one shows the LORRI field at scale 1 (almost), no deconvolution :
Attached Image


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