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New Horizons Pluto System Final Approach, 28 Jun-13 Jul 15
paraisosdelsiste...
post Jul 12 2015, 04:59 PM
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I've made a quick listing of all the images and published to the date by New Horizons: http://nchazarra.duckdns.org/db/
It polls the server twice a day to download all the metadata from the images. The database can be searched. It's still pretty basic, but it is the only way I found to peer through all the metadata and images in a quick way.

If you have any suggestions to improve it, don't heasistate to message me.
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Habukaz
post Jul 12 2015, 05:03 PM
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For something less controversial: tracking the development of surface features and areas of Pluto as the resolution increases:

Attached Image Attached Image


I don't see why the dark area(s) at the closest-approach hemisphere would not also look "lake-like" at this resolution, so I think (and hope) that we will not miss out on that much by not photographing these particular patches at higher resolution.


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fredk
post Jul 12 2015, 05:13 PM
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QUOTE (alk3997 @ Jul 12 2015, 08:23 AM) *
The one other thing that is interesting is that the peninsulas are equally spaced. Of course all of this is near the sub-Charon spot. So I wonder if the constant gravitation of Charon is helping to form these. If so, I would speculate that the intensity of the gravitational influence will fall-off in an inverse square relationship. But it is interesting, that they appear at equal intervals according to the NH press release.
The spots and peninsulas are now seen to be pretty irregular in shape, so it's hard to say they are spaced equally. Maybe very crudely.

The question of gravitational influence is interesting. Now that the two bodies are rotationally synchronized, there should be no fluctuating tidal forces, which I'd think would be the only way to affect the morphology/structure. Now the two bodies' surfaces should just be sitting at the effective equipotential surfaces.

But in the distant past, the two were likely out of synch and hence the fluctuating tidal forces (dropping like the inverse cube of distance) could have had structural effects.
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centsworth_II
post Jul 12 2015, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Jul 12 2015, 05:10 AM) *
Doesn't rule out subsurface reservoirs of fluid, of course. My guess is that the dark areas are indeed eruptive deposits from such sources, probably organics, dispersed through what little breeze there is & constrained to the visible areas by local topography....
Why eruptive? My (non-monetary) bet would be tholin dust.
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nprev
post Jul 12 2015, 05:44 PM
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Eruptive as in subsurface liquid N2 reservoirs with thiolins in solution breaching the surface and spewing plumes from time to time, which are subsequently blown around to form the visible dark deposits.

If this scenario is correct (BIG if), then it might be a seasonal phenomenon. Pluto reached perihelion in, what, 1989, so depending on the thermal inertia of the crust & a whole lot of other poorly defined/constrained variables there may have been several years of activity before things started to settle down again. Maybe there's still some activity now.


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A few will take this knowledge and use this power of a dream realized as a force for change, an impetus for further discovery to make less ancient dreams real.
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Julius
post Jul 12 2015, 05:48 PM
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I would think NH would be able to pick up any enceladus type plume activity after closest approach when it turns back to have a look at pluto s atmosphere.

Any activity from tidal forces after the formation of Charon would have settled by now. I would think that any internal activity from heat due to the rock content within pluto would have dissipated long ago.
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centsworth_II
post Jul 12 2015, 05:48 PM
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QUOTE (Habukaz @ Jul 12 2015, 01:03 PM) *
I don't see why the dark area(s) at the closest-approach hemisphere would not also look "lake-like" at this resolution, so I think (and hope) that we will not miss out on that much by not photographing these particular patches at higher resolution.
I agree. It's looking like the "Whale" is an extension of the same type of terrain. And whatever the process, it entirely circles Pluto.
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TritonAntares
post Jul 12 2015, 06:05 PM
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QUOTE (Bjorn Jonsson @ Jul 12 2015, 02:42 PM) *
But here is an updated version of my Pluto map that includes the latest images. To speed things up I used the officially released/processed July 11 image instead of processing the raw JPGs and making my own version of this image. Other images I used are mainly images I processed and posted here. There may be some errors in the position and orientation of features in the map but they shouldn't be very big and the map provides a good global overview of Pluto.

[attachment=36778]

Longitude 0 is at the left edge of the map.

Great work Björn!
Would be quite useful to see your map added with an overlay of all the imaging footprints.
Some are shown in Celestia screenshots a few pages before.
I remember such a map existing before the Iapetus flyby in september 2007.
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alk3997
post Jul 12 2015, 06:24 PM
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QUOTE (Julius @ Jul 12 2015, 11:48 AM) *
I would think NH would be able to pick up any enceladus type plume activity after closest approach when it turns back to have a look at pluto s atmosphere.

Any activity from tidal forces after the formation of Charon would have settled by now. I would think that any internal activity from heat due to the rock content within pluto would have dissipated long ago.


A lot of people are treating the tidal forces are point sources - Pluto is a point and Charon is a point. But, in reality, relative to the distance of Pluto from Charon, there are different gravitational forces over a wider area on each body. Also, the pull of Nix/Hydra, while very small, over geological time can cause the dual body orbits to change ever so slight.

So while the tidal forces may have settled into equilibrium, that doesn't mean that they aren't changing. But, I agree that the effects would be much less than a resonance orbit, for instance.

Andy
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Beauford
post Jul 12 2015, 06:28 PM
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QUOTE (centsworth_II @ Jul 12 2015, 11:21 AM) *
Why eruptive? My (non-monetary) bet would be tholin dust.



...agreed. Given the polarity of the NH bond, the tholins are probably crystalline or amorphous solids, possibly dispersed in other crystalline and amorphous solids. Most likely alternatives knowing nothing besides the phase diagrams are diatomic (N2, O2? probably NOT), heterodiatomic (CO) molecules, and low MW nonpolar molecules (CH4), which would be highly anticipated even if not already known to be present spectroscopically. ...and the spectroscopy is pretty compelling. Exotic low boiling liquid mixture (with very low volatility!) are not likely, but are possible and would be "super-interesting."
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Jaro_in_Montreal
post Jul 12 2015, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Jul 12 2015, 12:33 PM) *
note that there's a reference to the fact that local atmospheric pressure has to be high enough for N2 to exist in a liquid phase. This isn't the greatest phase diagram I've ever seen, but it sure looks like there would need to be considerably more than a few nanobars of pressure for a liquid state to be possible on the surface.

Nice app! ....is this available publicly?

As concerns Pluto, what about various mixtures? ....is there any possibility of some sort of eutectics ? ....say for example a mix of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, methane and helium ?

The pressure may be very low, but the height of the atmosphere is great, due to the low gravity.
So presumably when things sublimate, eventually they condense out again somewhere (as opposed to getting lost to space).

What about the ices of these substances? ....do they sink or float ? (density higher or lower than the liquid?)
How well would an ice cover trap heat -- is it transparent at a wide range of wavelengths ?

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Gladstoner
post Jul 12 2015, 07:07 PM
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There appears to be a second, fainter dark band at around 30-40 degrees north latitude:


Attached Image


Is this due to mere coincidence or imaging artifacts, or is this a real feature? If real, it could indicate the Coriolis effect has an effect on the distribution of dark material. And to complicate matters, the 'heart' feature seems to 'push' the band to the north as well as truncate the equatorial dark band.
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pitcapuozzo
post Jul 12 2015, 07:12 PM
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Gladstone: "There's hints of frost transport all over the place" in images coming down now.

http://twitter.com/alexwitze/status/620308503748583424
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machi
post Jul 12 2015, 07:17 PM
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Here is improved version of my table with planned observations by the LORRI imager.
It now covers all(?) observations between 11.7. and 16.7., some minor corrections (info about 40 images strip by Jason, thanks!) and
I added new column "Pixels across target" - predicted number of pixels across target diameter.


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Bjorn Jonsson
post Jul 12 2015, 07:21 PM
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QUOTE (Gladstoner @ Jul 12 2015, 07:07 PM) *
There appears to be a second, fainter dark band at around 30-40 degrees north latitude:
Attached Image
Is this due to mere coincidence or imaging artifacts, or is this a real feature?


Rather emabarassingly I hadn't noticed this (I was too busy making the map!). This is probably a real feature - I'm not completely sure about that though.

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