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[Image: 25103267.jpg]
Interesting: for all the tumultuous terrain, there's not a lot of craters on Pluto or Charon. Those are very young surfaces.

Re: Liquid Nitrogen. NASA is saying the mountains are water ice with nitrogen and methane frost. Too cold and vacuum-y for liquid nitrogen, I guess.
This could be nitrogen/methane snow, I suppose (some sources say there is a bit of carbon monoxide mixed in, which would be first place I know of in the Solar System to have that in quantity).
(07-16-2015, 10:31 PM)stevebowers Wrote: [ -> ]This could be nitrogen/methane snow, I suppose (some sources say there is a bit of carbon monoxide mixed in, which would be first place I know of in the Solar System to have that in quantity).

NASA released some observations about the concentrations of CO ice in Pluto's Tombaugh Region.

NASA’s New Horizons Discovers Frozen Plains in the Heart of Pluto’s ‘Heart’

Frozen Carbon Monoxide in Pluto’s 'Heart'
[Image: nh-pluto-mountain-range.png?itok=DU9MS85A]

[link]

Quote:While Sputnik Planum is believed to be relatively young in geological terms – perhaps less than 100 million years old - the darker region probably dates back billions of years. Moore notes that the bright, sediment-like material appears to be filling in old craters (for example, the bright circular feature to the lower left of center).

This other mountain range (still in the Tombaugh Region, but located a bit southwest of the last mountain image) is around 1km ~ 1.5km tall, with NASA comparing them to the USA's Appalachian Mountains for size.

Goodness, that image compression is terrible. It'll take a while to send ten years' worth of data... I'm glad we're getting previews.

[Image: nh-nix-hydra-no-captions1.jpg?itok=RxO96j9p]

Nix is to the left, Hydra to the right.

Hydra sure has grown. The 15px x 11px -wide image was exciting enough.

[link]

Quote:Images of Pluto’s most recently discovered moons, Styx and Kerberos, are expected to be transmitted to Earth no later than mid-October.
What a dynamic planet. Mars and Mercury look positively staid in comparison.
(07-22-2015, 09:46 AM)Cray Wrote: [ -> ]What a dynamic planet.

You can say that again.

[Image: nh_04_mckinnon_02c.jpg?itok=A4yYLX6Y]

Quote:NASA’s New Horizons mission has found evidence of exotic ices flowing across Pluto’s surface, at the left edge of its bright heart-shaped area. New close-up images from the spacecraft’s Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) reveal signs of recent geologic activity, something scientists hoped to find but didn’t expect.

“We’ve only seen surfaces like this on active worlds like Earth and Mars,” said mission co-investigator John Spencer of SwRI. “I'm really smiling.”

The new close-up images show fascinating detail within the Texas-sized plain (informally named Sputnik Planum) that lies within the western half of Pluto’s heart-shaped region, known as Tombaugh Regio. There, a sheet of ice clearly appears to have flowed—and may still be flowing—in a manner similar to glaciers on Earth.

Whatever's causing Pluto's internal warmth, be it decaying elements or an active core, it's affecting the geography a lot.
(07-16-2015, 10:10 PM)Cray Wrote: [ -> ]Interesting: for all the tumultuous terrain, there's not a lot of craters on Pluto or Charon. Those are very young surfaces.

If you say so. I had been wondering what the incidence of cratering per millennium way the heck out there was and thinking that our inner-system standards for judging age by craters might not be accurate.
If anyone would like the raw, unprocessed LORRI images (in JPEG format) of the mission...

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/soc/Pluto-Encounter/index.php

Quote:Welcome to the New Horizons image site, where NASA and the New Horizons mission are happy to provide these JPEG images - displayed in raw form without special processing - for the public to use and enjoy. These JPEGs of images taken by the LOng Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) are generally posted weekly, on Fridays, for the images received at the New Horizons Science Operations Center through the preceding Tuesday at 5 pm EDT. The date/time listed in the image caption is when the picture was taken by the spacecraft, though receipt of the data on Earth could be many days later, depending on when the image is downloaded from New Horizons.

We're getting a fresh batch of images and info on the eleventh of this month, and hopefully every Friday afterwards for the next months.
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