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New findings suggest Pluto may have rings

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posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 04:34 PM
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The discovery of P1(moon1) and P2(moon 2) also raises the intriguing possibility that impact debris from the small moons is captured by Pluto's gravity and coalescing into rings or even arcs around the tiny planet. If confirmed, it would be the first example of a ring system around a solid body rather than a gas giant planet.
news.yahoo.com...

Short but intresting read I thought. Our technology is getting more and more advanced by the minute, where do you think we go from here?

[edit on 22-2-2006 by mrjenka]




posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 04:45 PM
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As my pal Spock would say, "fascinating". Amazing the things telescopes can do now, isn't it. Multiple systems do seem to be the norm don't they?

The probe to Pluto ought to be really, really interesting when it finally gets there.



posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 04:47 PM
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I think we already have the technology to get there, and to be honest, I think we already have. This is just a slow way to for disclosure. I don't know, only my opinion..

[edit on 22-2-2006 by mrjenka]



posted on Feb, 22 2006 @ 09:34 PM
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Nice find
I don't remember ever hearing about those two new moons of Pluto, (P1,P2) and now I find out Pluto not only has 3 moons, it might have rings as well? To paraphrase Seagull, I hope that Pluto probe hurries itself up, I really want to see what else it finds out there. Too bad we have to wait until 2015 to find out...



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 12:54 AM
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Originally posted by DragonsDemesne
Too bad we have to wait until 2015 to find out...


I wouldn't worry too much. It'll be there before you know it.


Plus there'll be A LOT to keep you occupied until then. You've got Cassini, MESSENGER, and the Mars Exploration Rovers still!

Not to mention the myriad of other probes, telescopes, and manned missions that are either already on-going, are in development, or just getting underway!
NASA Science Missions Complete Listing

[edit on 2/23/2006 by cmdrkeenkid]



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:45 AM
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Do you guys think Pluto could ever sustain life? I do not know much about the planet, hence me asking.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:58 AM
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I doubt it. It's too far away from the Sun, hence the temperatures are pretty low. But who knows, the tidal forces from Charon might be sufficent to heat up some of the ice and turn it into liquid water much like it has been speculated for Jupiter's moon Europa. But I still think it's rather unlikely.

[edit on 23-2-2006 by Beachcoma]



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 02:15 AM
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Do you think we as humans can come up with a 'habitat' of sorts? To accomidate life on Pluto?



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 02:21 AM
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I don't see why not, in the foreseeable future that is, but I do wonder what great benefit there will be to establishing a 'habitat' on Pluto other than for Kuiper Belt research.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 02:23 AM
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Mining? I am sure there are astreoids in the vacinity with massive deposits of minerals and fine metals, big business.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 02:58 AM
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If it's for mining purposes I'd have to say the moons around Saturn would be a better choice, or even the asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter.

For the asteroid belt's case it would be much closer to the Earth and the Sun, so you can rely on solar energy for basic operations. It's also got a higher percentage of metals in it.

And as for Saturn, I'm sure it's pretty easy to use her moon Titan's atmosphere as a source of fuel, it being primarily methane and all. Not sure about the metal content of the moons there, though.

The Kuiper Belt Objects on the other hand are primarily made out of water ice and lumps of carbon, much like the coma of a comet. Not so economical to mine, I think.


apc

posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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Watch...

By the time the probe gets to Pluto,
all the good stuff will be on the other side of the sun.

If there are rings around Pluto I would imagine they would have to be locked into identical orbits with her moons. Otherwise the moons would sweep them up.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 12:06 PM
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Originally posted by apc
If there are rings around Pluto I would imagine they would have to be locked into identical orbits with her moons. Otherwise the moons would sweep them up.


Not necessarily true. For example, some of Saturns moons like Pan are what astronomers call 'shepherd moons'. Basically they keep the rings around Saturn in place and help shape the edges of the rings. Hence the term shepherd moons.

Perhaps P1 and P2 are affecting the rings around Pluto in such a manner. They seem small enough to be shepherd moons.

PS. I'm sure they've calculated the trajectory of the New Horizon probe to arrive at Pluto as it moves around it's orbit. It would be a real stupid mistake if they didn't.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by apc
By the time the probe gets to Pluto,
all the good stuff will be on the other side of the sun.


I'm not quite sure what you mean about that, but here's an image of the Solar System viewed from the top down on July 15th, 2015.

www.abovetopsecret.com... down.JPG

It's fairly large in dimensions, hence the link.




If there are rings around Pluto I would imagine they would have to be locked into identical orbits with her moons. Otherwise the moons would sweep them up.


Not necessarily. If it has any sort of a ring system I doubt that it would be very circular at all. If anything I would imagine it to be more elliptical because of the way Pluto and Charon orbit around a central point that is in neither body. Here's a drawing. It's pretty crappy, but hopefully you'll get my idea.



Fear my Paint skills.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by cmdrkeenkid
If it has any sort of a ring system I doubt that it would be very circular at all. If anything I would imagine it to be more elliptical because of the way Pluto and Charon orbit around a central point that is in neither body.


Really? Why wouldn't the rings be circular? Ring particles would be small, no? I understand how Pluto and Charon would effect each other gravitationally, but ring particles?



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 12:58 PM
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I don't even pretend to understand the dynamics of orbital mechanics, but could the rings, if indeed there are any, orbit around this common point as well? I suppose that would mean they'd be around Charon as well, would it not?

There I've exposed my hopeless ignorance of orbital mechanics.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma
Really? Why wouldn't the rings be circular? Ring particles would be small, no? I understand how Pluto and Charon would effect each other gravitationally, but ring particles?


I'm not saying that as a certain fact, it's just my hypothesis. How did I come up with that?

Well, the barycenter of Pluto lies well above its surface, for starters. So that would mean that the rings would have to orbit to nearly the same position. Also, P1 and P2 have highly eliptical orbits. So why wouldn't the rings follow suit then?



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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You could be right. If that's the case than it would look rather elliptical. Hmmm... now I'm confused.



posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma
You could be right. If that's the case than it would look rather elliptical. Hmmm... now I'm confused.


I just found this. It might help you understand better.

Wikipedia - Pluto's Moons

Also, here's an image of the moons' orbits taken from the above source.




posted on Feb, 23 2006 @ 01:33 PM
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Thanks


That makes sense now. The article linked to an external source about the rings. It's all speculation now, but they believe the possible impact event that created Charon, P1 and P2 may have created a debris ring or debris arc.


Space.com

The discovery of P1 and P2 also raises the intriguing possibility that impact debris from the small moons is captured by Pluto’s gravity and coalescing into rings or even arcs around the tiny planet. If confirmed, it would be the first example of a ring system around a solid body rather than a gas giant planet.


Doesn't say where the rings or arcs might be though.

Edit: While we're on the subject of rings, I found this interesting article:
Earth Might Have Been a Ringed Planet, Like Saturn

[edit on 23-2-2006 by Beachcoma]




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