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New Horizons: Approach Phase, OpsNav - 25 January 15 to 28 June 15
dudley
post Jun 12 2015, 11:11 PM
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Some of the lumpiness is apparently due to image processing artifacts. The basin or crater-like feature near the bottom of the images appears real enough, though. If it were a crater, its size would indicate an impact on the verge of having the power to disrupt Pluto. Similar in proportion to the Herschel crater on Mimas. Supposing an impact, it seems it would have had to either come in from a low angle, or had an orbit well above and below the ecliptic.
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nprev
post Jun 12 2015, 11:16 PM
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Recall that Pluto's orbit is inclined more than 17 deg from the ecliptic. Given that we don't know yet whether this thing is an impact basin or an albedo feature or something completely unexpected it's probably a bit early to start drawing inferences about the orbital parameters of a postulated impactor. wink.gif


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dvandorn
post Jun 13 2015, 12:49 AM
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Agreed, Nick -- but in terms of speculating based on the best available images, I have to say that the first three of that four-image set are extremely suggestive of a basin. Especially (in my re-posting of just the first three images, below) the middle and right images. The left image shows an entire circular feature that could be just an albedo feature, but the second shows it on the terminator, partially shadowed, with what appears to be a far rim in sunlight. That suggests the far edge of the circular feature is raised above the center of the feature. The right image shows a similar lighting of the far rim, but Pluto's aspect to the sun has changed somewhat and the portion of the far rim illuminated is slightly different.

Again, yes, I could be reading too much into images of still-poor resolution. But on most (if not all) bodies in this solar system, a circular feature this large in comparison to the size of the body is an impact feature. I guess I'd say I would be very, very surprised if this isn't a basin. I'd even place a bet on it, if I had any money to bet with... wink.gif

-the other Doug

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Phil Stooke
post Jun 13 2015, 01:03 AM
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This like Mare Crisium and the Crisium basin. One is a dark patch, the other is a hole in the ground. At this stage it is impossible to tell which we are seeing. It might be both as on the Moon, but it might be just albedo.

Phil



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ZLD
post Jun 13 2015, 04:20 AM
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2015-6-11 - 4 stacked with deconvolution

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Heres the stacked image without deconvolution as well.

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And just for good measure, a flip animation to make it easier to see if artifacts may be at play.

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Alan Stern
post Jun 14 2015, 12:09 PM
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Right on the money--we conducted a successful Pluto targeting burn this a.m., just 52 cm/sec, and right on target!
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Ian R
post Jun 14 2015, 02:04 PM
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Great news, Alan: thank for the update!


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0101Morpheus
post Jun 14 2015, 02:50 PM
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I don't know why using a dart board for Pluto-Charon feels so appropriate. It just works.
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Bill Harris
post Jun 14 2015, 03:48 PM
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It's a stochastic system. The Universe is thumbing it's nose at G*d... smile.gif

--Bill


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Phil Stooke
post Jun 15 2015, 04:07 AM
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This is a composite of the four June 13th LORRI frames, 4x enlarged.

Phil

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jgoldader
post Jun 15 2015, 10:44 AM
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QUOTE (Phil Stooke @ Jun 14 2015, 11:07 PM) *
This is a composite of the four June 13th LORRI frames


This is getting so good I am seriously considering installing IRAF on my Mac so I can mess with the images and play with deconvolutions.

Folks here doing deconvolutions, are you building the PSF from the stellar images in the long exposures? If not, maybe I'll give it a shot.
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Bjorn Jonsson
post Jun 15 2015, 10:45 PM
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Here is a quick attempt at processing the two unbinned 2015-06-15 05:00 images obtained at a range of 34.9 million km. This is a stack of the two images from this time, sharpened and denoised in Registax and then slightly sharpened with an unsharp mask in Photoshop. The images are enlarged by a factor of 4. The viewing geometry is also shown.

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The subspacecraft longitude is -3 degrees [corrected - I initially posted an incorrect longitude].

Most of the large scale details on Pluto in the image above should be real but the exact shape of these features might differ a bit from what this processed image shows. What's really interesting is that now Charon is starting to show details too (there have probably been hints of these details in earlier images but they are becoming more obvious now). There is very probably a dark feature in Charon's left 'half' but its exact shape is probably different from what the image above shows. But if the image is compared to the diagram it looks as if Charon's polar region may be darker than the terrain farther from the pole - this is rather tentative though but should soon become clear.

More to come...
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alk3997
post Jun 16 2015, 02:17 AM
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Here's a 4x enlargement with no other image processing (I promise). The dark boundary outside of the polar cap seems to be real.

I'm also noticing a large surface marking on the left side of the Charon image.

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I suspect that with some image processing Nix and Hydra are probably now visible in these 1x1 bin images.

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/soc/Pluto-Encounte...sure=100%20msec

Andy
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Phil Stooke
post Jun 16 2015, 02:43 PM
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My version of the newest images - it's not a deconvolution, just a merge of differently stretched versions of the image. I think the Charon dark feature is probably real, and it will be good to see it become clearer very quickly now.

Phil

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ZLD
post Jun 16 2015, 02:50 PM
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Below is the June 15 data stacked and processed with some luminance adjustments and a max entropy deconvolution.

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And also a blown-up flip between the stacked frames output and the further processed image.

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Lots of details becoming visible here.


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