Plutonic Sunday


NASA’s ice sleuths got the better picture (at top) by stitching together two images from New Horizons’ infrared imager. Rather than a flat image, the scientists had a digital cube of data, with cross sections representing a broad swath of the near infrared spectrum. In effect, this let them mute the non-water ice signatures, and amplify that of the water ice. The result is the robust beard of blue on the right.

In the new map, Sputnik Planum—the heart’s left lobe—is still relatively free of water ice. This makes sense given the prevailing hypothesis that Sputnik Planum is basically a gigantic glacier made of nitrogen ice, methane ice, and carbon monoxide. The same stuff is probably behind Pluto’s northern bald spot (keeping with this weird “water-is-hair” metaphor I’ve got going here). Called Lowell Regio, it too is mostly water ice free, though unlike Sputnik Planum, which researchers believe formed from a massive impact, scientists aren’t quite sure why this region is so bare.


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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17 Responses to Plutonic Sunday

  1. Den says:

    Soggy here this AM. Yesterday AM found a late model pickup truck parked in my friends’ driveway, unknown how it got there or who it belonged to, now it is sitting in a tow yard somewhere. Quite odd.


  2. David B. Benson says:

    Cool photo.


  3. David B. Benson says:

    TNYT favors the Hill. I don’t suppose that is enough for me to cancel my subscription.


  4. º¿carol says:

    Where, oh WHERE does the time go? I haven’t been here since Thursday? I mean, what the hell?

    I’ve no excuse. But I do, actually. When I would have been reading my two newspapers and coming here, I was working on birthday cards I’m in a crunch to get done. My sister-in-law’s birthday is February 4th. I’m afraid I’m going to be late, but she’s ALWAYS late with her cards. We just got their xmas card last week.


  5. º¿carol says:

    Jill signed up to be a foster mother to a rescued boxer. They gave her an older dog that they delivered Saturday. It’s not going to work. I went over to meet Journey, and that’s her real name because she answers to it. Turns out Quincy is a bully and while the rescue may fit in with us, Q doesn’t want another dog in the house.

    Add to that that Journey is older than represented. They said 5 or 6, more like 8 or 9 and she has issues. A voracious drinker, hence has to pee all the time. She drools because of the drinking, she’s pants constantly so respiratory problems. Jill was all stressed out yesterday, keeping dogs separated, Journey locked in a bedroom behind a baby gate wouldn’t stop crying. Having to take one dog out at a time, just too much. Jill called the rescue, she may have to drive Journey up to Traverse City at the top of the lower peninsula. This is sad, for both of us, we so wanted to take in a dog that was abandoned, give it a good home until they found a permanent home, but it will be too hard. On both of us. Especially me, I’m not as young as Jill. Happily, Brian stayed over at Jill’s last night and helped out with the dogs. On his way home he dropped Quincy off here to stay until we take Journey home. Might as well keep them separated, and Jill less stressed.

    Oh, well, we tried.


  6. Den says:

    Might want to start closer to puppies.


    • º¿carol says:

      That’s what she said. She said Quincy would get along with a puppy, and when it grew up they’re still be friends. But she’s changing her mind about that, too. Dogs are a lot of work, take up a lot of time. Having this foster dog here just since yesterday has taught her a vital lesson.

      I know for a fact I don’t need another dog to take care of. Man, when Izzy and Langdon got old it was really hard taking care of them every day. I had to help Langdon stand up because he got so weak. Journey is probably not far from being a lot of work. Jill noticed that she can’t hop up on a bed. An older, weak dog. I certainly don’t need that. It’s enough taking care of this house, this property, all the running everywhere and Bob.


  7. David B. Benson says:

    Same route as yesterday. Maybe 30 seconds faster, still…

    Day 1: 45 minutes.

    Going to have to adjust the variable length walking sticks. One slipped short and the other seems now too long.


  8. º¿carol says:

    It’s 50° out there right now, at 8:11 p.m. It’s been raining. I just took Quincy out and the grass is really soft. I don’t think I want to walk around later, getting mud on my shoes. If I go out, I’ll stay on the patio and the decks.


  9. º¿carol says:

    Quincy must have been really stressed yesterday and all night. After Brian left he watched out the window for awhile, then went to sleep on the couch. I had to wake him up at 3:00 to feed him his dinner. He went back to the couch and until 5 minutes ago was back asleep. I took him outside, he peed and he’s back on the couch. Wore out from worry about the strange dog in his house, I guess.


  10. David B. Benson says:

    @ the Hillside Cafe. More students here tonight.


  11. David B. Benson says:

    Only saw 2 birds today; robins.


  12. David B. Benson says:

    Brrr. Freezing out.


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