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Pluto: You can Help Name its Features

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posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 12:42 PM
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As I mentioned in a recent thread, the New Horizons Spacecraft is on its way to a brief fly-by encounter with Pluto on July 14 of this year. It will be the first spacecraft to ever visit Pluto -- or even see it in any better detail than just three pixels across. The best image we have of Pluto is shown below, and is from the Hubble space telescope. Even that image is not exactly a traditional image, and has been somewhat computer manipulated to show more pixels and more detail that Hubble could actually capture:

Description of image dithering technique explained on the Hubble website: The Hubble images are a few pixels wide. But through a technique called dithering, multiple, slightly offset pictures can be combined through computer-image processing to synthesize a higher-resolution view than could be seen in a single exposure. "This has taken four years and 20 computers operating continuously and simultaneously to accomplish," says Buie, who developed special algorithms to sharpen the Hubble data.

However, thanks to New Horizons, we are about to get a much more detailed view of Pluto and its features. By late June (a couple of weeks prior to the fly-by) details of the images will begin to get so much better a so quickly that mission scientists may have their hands full in trying to come up with names.




Closing in at 14 kilometers every second, Pluto will grow rapidly, and details will clear.

The transformation of Pluto from a fuzzy blob to a sharp and clear world will be so rapid, in fact, that there won’t be time to name all the new surface features seen. Thinking ahead, the scientists involved have decided to create a list of potential names for features not yet seen. That’s pretty clever, but what names should go on that Plutonic list?

That, it turns out, is up to you. Seriously. The New Horizons team, in coordination with the International Astronomical Union (the official keeper of cosmic names), has a website called Our Pluto where you can suggest names and vote for the ones you like.


Source:
Pluto Naming Rights

You have only until April 7 to suggest names and cast your votes...so you need to hurry if you want to be involved.


Here is the link to the "Our Pluto" NASA webpage. Links to the ballots, including instructions for voting, can be found at the bottom of this link:

Our Pluto -- Help us put names on the maps of Pluto and Charon!



Hubble Image Source:
New Hubble Maps of Pluto Show Surface Changes



edit on 3/28/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 01:55 PM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

S&F. Thanks for sharing, supercool.



posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 02:20 PM
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Thanks for the heads up!

As someone who doesn't know a whole lot about astronomy and space exploration, I'm kinda surprised that no spacecraft have been to Pluto before, and that the best image we have of it is 3 pixels. We sure do have a lot to learn.



posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 04:41 PM
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originally posted by: thesearchfortruth
Thanks for the heads up!

As someone who doesn't know a whole lot about astronomy and space exploration, I'm kinda surprised that no spacecraft have been to Pluto before, and that the best image we have of it is 3 pixels. We sure do have a lot to learn.


Which is amazing considering we can now determine other world's around distant stars.. even able to tell how far from the star and even what type of world that me be I.e giant gas or rock planets..
And we are still unclear what is in our own backyard.

I'm excited to see what images we get back.. There is always the tiny hope we may find something spectacular or unusual. .



posted on Mar, 28 2015 @ 08:27 PM
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originally posted by: Misterlondon

I'm excited to see what images we get back.. There is always the tiny hope we may find something spectacular or unusual. .

I think they are almost surely going to find something spectacular and unusual, considering we don't know much about Pluto. Almost every probe NASA sends to another planet (or planet-like object) has discovered something spectacular and scientifically exciting.



posted on Apr, 2 2015 @ 07:54 PM
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Five more days to help name Pluto's features.
Suggestions and voting ends April 7.

Our Pluto -- Help us put names on the maps of Pluto and Charon!


edit on 4/2/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 10:57 AM
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originally posted by: thesearchfortruth
Thanks for the heads up!

As someone who doesn't know a whole lot about astronomy and space exploration, I'm kinda surprised that no spacecraft have been to Pluto before, and that the best image we have of it is 3 pixels. We sure do have a lot to learn.


While we have never visited it we have had plans to for a long time.

Originally we had plans to send one of the Voyager's to 134340 Pluto (it's official minor planet name now). Voyager 1 could have visited Pluto, but then we would not have gotten the close flyby of Saturn's moon Titan. We couldn't do both so in 1980 the decision was made to do a close flyby of Titan which looked far more scientifically interesting. The resulting trajectory of Voyager 1 became incompatible with a Pluto flyby from that point on.

Then there were plans for a 2001 launch of a mission called Pluto-Kuiper Express which would have arrived at Pluto in 2012 or 2013. Though the spacecraft was ready but it was cancelled for budget reasons. (Iraq war, etc). After an intense political battle, a revised mission to Pluto, dubbed New Horizons, was granted funding and it was launched in 2006 with ashes from Pluto's discoverer Clyde Tombaugh.

New Horizons is now the fastest spacecraft we've built to go on a long journey, travelling at 58,536 km/h (36,373 mph) or 16.26 km/second. (By comparison the speed of light is close to 300,000 km/second).

edit on 6-4-2015 by JadeStar because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 11:17 AM
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I predict that one of the features they'll find is a huge big-ass crater taking up a large percentage of the landscape.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 11:23 AM
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originally posted by: Junkheap
I predict that one of the features they'll find is a huge big-ass crater taking up a large percentage of the landscape.

Well, you have until tomorrow (April 7) to help them decide on the themes they will use to name that crater.



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 11:57 AM
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a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I'm surprised that among the fictional underworld names they didn't have "Stovokor" or "Gre'thor", so "Z'ha'dum" was one of the names I voted on.
edit on 6-4-2015 by Junkheap because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 6 2015 @ 12:00 PM
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originally posted by: Junkheap
a reply to: Soylent Green Is People

I'm surprised that among the fictional underworld names they didn't have "Stovokor" or "Gre'thor", so "Z'ha'dum" was one of the names I voted on.


I'd like to see a feature named "Grapthar's Hammer"


...or is that too cheesy?


edit on 4/6/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 08:15 AM
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The "Help name Pluto's features" campaign has been extended to April 24:

NASA Extends Campaign for Public to Name Features on Pluto

“Due to increasing interest and the number of submissions we’re getting, it was clear we needed to extend this public outreach activity,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington. “This campaign not only reveals the public’s excitement about the mission, but helps the team, which will not have time to come up with names during the flyby, to have a ready-made library of names in advance to officially submit to the IAU.”



A link to the ballots (full ballot and simplified ballot) can be found by clicking this link, then finding links to that ballots at the bottom of the web page:

Our Pluto



edit on 4/9/2015 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




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