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Astronomers Find Coldest Spot in Solar System

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posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 12:30 PM
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From Fox News:


Astronomers have found the coldest spot in our solar system and it may be a little close for comfort. It's on our moon, right nearby. NASA's new Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter is making the first complete temperature map of the moon. It found that at the moon's south pole, it's colder than far away Pluto. The area is inside craters that are permanently shadowed so they never see sun.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I find this fascinating. We are still discovering stuff very close to home on a cosmic scale that is just reinforcing the belief we need to continue exploring space. When we know so little about our own moon, how are we supposed to perpetuate the human species once our own sun dies out? We need to expand to the stars, so to speak, one planet (or moon) at a time.

I guess time will tell.




posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 01:00 PM
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So if it's taken them this long to discover this, how exactly do they know the temperature on Pluto?



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 01:05 PM
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reply to post by Clickfoot
 

"Discover" is not exactly the right term. It's the lowest temperature measured and it is in a very specific location. The average temperature of Pluto has been measured with infrared telescopes.



posted on Sep, 20 2009 @ 11:05 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Cool.

Thanks Phage, I knew you'd have the answer



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:24 AM
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It seems to me that if they ever find a permanently shadowed crater on Pluto's moons (Charon, Nix & Hydra), Sedna, Eris, Eris' moon, or other far-away objects, that temperature there would be at least as cold -- or probably colder -- than that crater on our moon.

It's just that they haven't ever been close enough to those objects to find permanently shadowed places there.

Pluto seems to have an atmosphere. I don't know how thick it is, but I suppose that the atmosphere on Pluto would be able to "equalize" the temperature a bit -- even in permanently shadowed craters.


[edit on 9/21/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:32 AM
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Originally posted by Clickfoot
So if it's taken them this long to discover this, how exactly do they know the temperature on Pluto?


Valid point???? and why didnt the rest of the moons surface heat up these shaded areas a little, like a concrete slab still heats up in the shade a little from the hot areas of concrete that are exposed to sunlight the slab doesn't get completly cold as ice SMH @ CRYOGENICS.

[edit on 9/21/09 by Ophiuchus 13]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 07:41 AM
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Originally posted by Ophiuchus 13
..and why didnt the rest of the moons surface heat up these shaded areas a little, like a concrete slab still heats up in the shade a little from the hot areas of concrete that are exposed to sunlight the slab doesn't get completly cold as ice SMH @ CRYOGENICS.

[edit on 9/21/09 by Ophiuchus 13]

Perhaps it does -- and that's why it's 62 degrees above absolute zero (and I'm guessing that the heat from the sunlit portions can transfer through the surface.

That's why I think a permanently-shadowed crater on Charon, Eris, or Eris' moon (if such a crater exists) would be colder -- because the sunlit surface of those places is colder that the sunlit parts of the Moon to begin with, therefore there is less heat to "transfer" through the surface to the crater.

...and back to your concrete slab analogy -- the slab in the shadow also heats up due to the air around it being warm due to the tranfser of heat through the air. I suppose the moon's very thin atmosphere of dust and outgasses would be able to transfer a little the sun's heat to the shadowed areas, also -- but that heat transfer through the Moons tenuously thin would probably be very, very small at best.



[edit on 9/21/2009 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Sep, 21 2009 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Thanks friend for clearifying this for me.



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