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The Frozen Canyons of Pluto’s North Pole

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posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 03:40 PM
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On Thursday NASA released a really cool color photo of Pluto captured by the New Horizons spacecraft. The image was obtained at a range of approximately 21,100 miles from Pluto. Check out the full press release from NASA:


Long canyons run vertically across the polar area—part of the informally named Lowell Regio, named for Percival Lowell, who founded Lowell Observatory and initiated the search that led to Pluto’s discovery. The widest of the canyons (yellow in the image below) – is about 45 miles (75 kilometers) wide and runs close to the north pole. Roughly parallel subsidiary canyons to the east and west (in green) are approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. The degraded walls of these canyons appear to be much older than the more sharply defined canyon systems elsewhere on Pluto, perhaps because the polar canyons are older and made of weaker material. These canyons also appear to represent evidence for an ancient period of tectonics.

A shallow, winding valley (in blue) runs the entire length of the canyon floor. To the east of these canyons, another valley (pink) winds toward the bottom-right corner of the image. The nearby terrain, at bottom right, appears to have been blanketed by material that obscures small-scale topographic features, creating a ‘softened’ appearance for the landscape.

Large, irregularly-shaped pits (in red), reach 45 miles (70 kilometers) across and 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) deep, scarring the region. These pits may indicate locations where subsurface ice has melted or sublimated from below, causing the ground to collapse.

The color and composition of this region – shown in enhanced color – also are unusual. High elevations show up in a distinctive yellow, not seen elsewhere on Pluto. The yellowish terrain fades to a uniform bluish gray at lower elevations and latitudes. New Horizons' infrared measurements show methane ice is abundant across Lowell Regio, and there is relatively little nitrogen ice. “One possibility is that the yellow terrains may correspond to older methane deposits that have been more processed by solar radiation than the bluer terrain,” said Will Grundy, New Horizons composition team lead from Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona.

This image was obtained by New Horizons’ Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC). The image resolution is approximately 2,230 feet (680 meters) per pixel. The lower edge of the image measures about 750 miles (1,200 kilometers) long. It was obtained at a range of approximately 21,100 miles (33,900 kilometers) from Pluto, about 45 minutes before New Horizons’ closest approach on July 14, 2015.



edit on 26-2-2016 by ATSmediaPRO because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 03:45 PM
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a reply to: ATSmediaPRO
I always knew it was a partially eaten Jawbreaker.


Cool pic, and only 21,000 miles away. Out there, that's like right on top of it.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 03:50 PM
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originally posted by: Klassified
a reply to: ATSmediaPRO
I always knew it was a partially eaten Jawbreaker.


Cool pic, and only 21,000 miles away. Out there, that's like right on top of it.
It makes me think of ice cream.

I havne't ben keeping up with Pluto darnit. What' wrong with me.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 04:27 PM
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Looks like a slightly warmer Canada. Let's colonize it!



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 04:51 PM
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I got a dumb question, if a planet does not have a magnetic field, or it's unknown as in the case of Pluto, what is the north pole?



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 05:00 PM
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originally posted by: Indigent
I got a dumb question, if a planet does not have a magnetic field, or it's unknown as in the case of Pluto, what is the north pole?


There are three types of "North":

~Magnetic north
~True north
~The child of Kanye West.

Magnetic north, such as the one found on Earth, is actually continuously moving because Earths magnetic field isn't stationary. In fact, there was once a time on Earth where the magnetic field was so 'all over the place' that there were several Magnetic North's. Furthermore, the margin of error of declination between true north and magnetic north varies depending on where you or on the planet. It's also influenced by a number of factors close to the instrument using magnetic north. Because it changes, you actually need to get the most up to date maps that take the current measurement of Magnetic North into consideration. An old map could mean your navigating way off course.

True north, on the other hand, is simply north on Earth's Axis. So to determine 'North' on Pluto we would need to know it's Axis. Magnetic North would fluctuate, just like here on Earth.

Kanye's child "North West" is the prodigy and savior of mankind, the child is the one and only true "North"



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 05:08 PM
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originally posted by: Indigent
I got a dumb question, if a planet does not have a magnetic field, or it's unknown as in the case of Pluto, what is the north pole?


Not dumb at all. Good question in fact.
 


I'm still amazed as I see these images, from watching the first Moon landing with my father on an old black and white TV with rabbit ears and tin foil, positioned just right after ten minutes of tweaking, to these images of Pluto. How far we have come in such a short part of human history.



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 05:10 PM
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originally posted by: Blaine91555

originally posted by: Indigent
I got a dumb question, if a planet does not have a magnetic field, or it's unknown as in the case of Pluto, what is the north pole?


Not dumb at all. Good question in fact.
 


I'm still amazed as I see these images, from watching the first Moon landing with my father on an old black and white TV with rabbit ears and tin foil, positioned just right after ten minutes of tweaking, to these images of Pluto. How far we have come in such a short part of human history.


Did you tweet to your followers what you saw during the moon landing, back then?




posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: Ghost147




Kanye's child "North West" is the prodigy and savior of mankind, the child is the one and only true "North"


Got it, never ask again



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 06:14 PM
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edit on 26-2-2016 by Indigent because: the power of kanye is so strong it made me double post it



posted on Feb, 26 2016 @ 10:25 PM
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Amazing how far we come.

Our ancestors would be amazed at what we can see now, things they ever dreamed of.



posted on Feb, 27 2016 @ 05:26 AM
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This mission and the images it produced are like a real space fairytale for me.

I think you guys will enjoy this video, it's a timelapse of all LORRI camera images from January to July 2015, including the flyby of Pluto, as well as a few high-rez mosaics:


www.youtube.com...


GD

posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 03:03 PM
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OK, can't stand Kanye, but damn that made me laugh. a reply to: Ghost147



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 03:25 PM
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Love the thread! Bumpsies!



posted on Feb, 28 2016 @ 04:57 PM
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For how cool this is, I'm always stuck bewildered trying to fully comprehend the "peak oil" hubbub and methane being abundant on other planets. Just like pockets of oil exist but not evenly distributed like flora is. And all I can ever seem to get in response is "one is not not mutually exclusive of the other. So methane can exist without oil but oil can't exist without traces of methane. Until of course, oil is discovered on some seemingly local dead happless moon.....underneath methane, underneath liquid water, underneath frozen water. Bet me.



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