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OT: NASA/Space Thread also PLUTO/New Horizons
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owl at the moon Offline
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Post: #21
OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
Great stuff... I remember how cool I thought it was back when Charon was first discovered... All we had then was a few fuzzy images.
Keep em coming.
11-04-2015 06:04 AM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #22
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
There is a lecture at Rice on Monday 11/23 about the New Horizons mission to Pluto. The speaker is Frances Bagenal, professor at Univ of Colorado and chair of NASA's Outer Planet Assessment Group. Details:
http://events.rice.edu/index.cfm?EventRecord=26691

Dr Bagenal is also giving a talk the next afternoon on the Juno mission which will orbit Jupiter in July 2016:
http://events.rice.edu/index.cfm?EventRecord=26747
Reading a little more about Dr Bagenal, she seems like a real stud in astrophysics and planetary science, both academically and in her work on NASA missions.
11-16-2015 02:57 PM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #23
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
(11-16-2015 02:57 PM)georgewebb Wrote:  There is a lecture at Rice on Monday 11/23 about the New Horizons mission to Pluto. The speaker is Frances Bagenal, professor at Univ of Colorado and chair of NASA's Outer Planet Assessment Group. Details:
http://events.rice.edu/index.cfm?EventRecord=26691

Dr Bagenal is also giving a talk the next afternoon on the Juno mission which will orbit Jupiter in July 2016:
http://events.rice.edu/index.cfm?EventRecord=26747
Reading a little more about Dr Bagenal, she seems like a real stud in astrophysics and planetary science, both academically and in her work on NASA missions.

Bump -- looks like an interesting lecture tonight at Rice in Duncan Hall.
(This post was last modified: 11-23-2015 11:29 AM by georgewebb.)
11-23-2015 11:28 AM
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georgewebb Offline
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Post: #24
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
For those who missed (or were intrigued by) last night's talk, the speaker is speaking again today at 4:00 i Brockman Hall pm on the Juno mission which will orbit Jupiter in July 2016:
http://events.rice.edu/index.cfm?EventRecord=26747
(This post was last modified: 11-24-2015 12:12 PM by georgewebb.)
11-24-2015 12:12 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #25
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations




Pluto's Spinning Moons
Most inner moons in the solar system keep one face pointed toward their central planet; this animation shows that certainly isn’t the case with the small moons of Pluto, which behave like spinning tops. Pluto is shown at center with, in order, from smaller to wider orbit: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, Hydra. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Mark Showalter
01-02-2016 11:53 AM
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grol Offline
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Post: #26
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
(01-02-2016 11:53 AM)GoodOwl Wrote:  Most inner moons in the solar system keep one face pointed toward their central planet...

Why do most moons keep one face pointed toward their central planet?
01-02-2016 12:01 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #27
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
(01-02-2016 12:01 PM)grol Wrote:  
(01-02-2016 11:53 AM)GoodOwl Wrote:  Most inner moons in the solar system keep one face pointed toward their central planet...

Why do most moons keep one face pointed toward their central planet?

It's called tidal Locking:

Tidal locking explanation

Tidal locking (also called gravitational locking or captured rotation) occurs when the gravitational gradient makes one hemisphere of a revolving astronomical body constantly face the partner body. This effect is known as synchronous rotation. A tidally locked body takes just as long to rotate around its own axis as it does to revolve around its partner. For example, the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth. Usually, only the satellite is tidally locked to the larger body. However, if both the mass difference between the two bodies and the distance between them are relatively small, each may be tidally locked to the other; this is the case for Pluto and Charon. This effect is employed to stabilize some artificial satellites....


below from: Answers.com

Best Answer: This is actually the case for nearly all moons of the solar system of any significant size.

The reason for tidal locking is that gravity is significantly non-uniform across the target body (moon). The nearest part of the moon (not necessarily Earth's moon) is closer to its host planet than the farther side of the moon, and thus the nearest part of the moon experiences a greater gravitational force per unit mass. As the moon responds to the associated gravitational fields, the near side leads and the far side lags, and the entire moon stretches out as a whole. This distorts the shape of the moon along the line from planet to moon.

If enabled to swing like a pendulum, which it initially will be, a distorted moon will have its equilibrium position when the stretching line is in line with the line to the planet. Torque from the gravitational forces on this warped moon will restore it to this equilibrium position. This is where the moon will settle once the initial rotational energy dissipates internally as tidal heating. Anytime the moon swings out of this equilibrium position, a new set of tidal stresses squish and squash it, converting the rotational energy into thermal energy. The ultimate ending is that the bodies become tidally locked to one another. Usually, the satellite body tidally locks LONG BEFORE the host body does.


The sun is so far away that its gravitational forces are so uniform that the tidal influence is insignificant on the moon's motion. Earth's tidal influence is a lot more important.
01-02-2016 01:10 PM
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grol Offline
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Post: #28
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
Hmmm
01-02-2016 10:43 PM
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grol Offline
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Post: #29
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
Here's something closer to home...Hidden side of the moon
01-31-2016 11:11 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #30
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
(01-31-2016 11:11 PM)grol Wrote:  Here's something closer to home...Hidden side of the moon

That was cool. Thanks for posting it, grol.
02-01-2016 04:45 PM
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owl at the moon Offline
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Post: #31
OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
More good stuff from Pluto- some of this has been covered already but some good new (to me) info here like the "ice volcanos" (NOT a minor league hockey team (yet))

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/...p=cur&_r=1
03-18-2016 08:33 AM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #32
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
12-29-2018 01:36 PM
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sts60 Offline
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Post: #33
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
I had an almost vanishingly small role supporting the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) powering this spacecraft. Trivia note: it was actually a flight spare for Cassini, and was refurbished with a mix of re-refined American and Russian plutonium (we used to buy Pu-238 from the Russians).

ETA: it’s the black finned double cylinder projecting to the lower left.
(This post was last modified: 12-29-2018 02:50 PM by sts60.)
12-29-2018 02:50 PM
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I45owl Offline
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Post: #34
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
(12-29-2018 02:50 PM)sts60 Wrote:  I had an almost vanishingly small role supporting the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) powering this spacecraft. Trivia note: it was actually a flight spare for Cassini, and was refurbished with a mix of re-refined American and Russian plutonium (we used to buy Pu-238 from the Russians).

ETA: it’s the black finned double cylinder projecting to the lower left.

I used to try to argue with a friend that these probes did not actually have nuclear reactors sent into space, but were you aware of the (one, and I believe it was only one) actual reactor that was sent into space?
12-31-2018 06:23 PM
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Almadenmike Online
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Post: #35
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
(12-31-2018 06:23 PM)I45owl Wrote:  
(12-29-2018 02:50 PM)sts60 Wrote:  I had an almost vanishingly small role supporting the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) powering this spacecraft. Trivia note: it was actually a flight spare for Cassini, and was refurbished with a mix of re-refined American and Russian plutonium (we used to buy Pu-238 from the Russians).

ETA: it’s the black finned double cylinder projecting to the lower left.

I used to try to argue with a friend that these probes did not actually have nuclear reactors sent into space, but were you aware of the (one, and I believe it was only one) actual reactor that was sent into space?

The SNAP-10A was the first -- and only -- reactor that the U.S. sent into space. But more than a dozen of the USSR's Cosmos launches included a reactor.
01-01-2019 03:58 AM
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sts60 Offline
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Post: #36
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
Yep. The SNAP-10A worked exactly as designed, including shutting itself down (irreversibly) when a spacecraft fault occurred. So have all the RTGs we’ve flown, functioned exactly as designed, including during flight accidents.
(This post was last modified: 01-01-2019 08:57 AM by sts60.)
01-01-2019 08:56 AM
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owl at the moon Offline
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Post: #37
OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
Good news... the craft has survived the flyby...

Source: bbcnews Posted: 20 minutes ago
_________________________________________
Signals from the Nasa probe confirm it has survived a flyby of Ultima Thule, the most distant object ever explored in the Solar System.

Scientists at the American space agency confirmed New Horizons was in a "healthy" condition after passing the icy space rock some hours ago.

Ultima Thule lies 6.5bn km (4bn miles) from Earth, in the far reaches of the Solar System.

The probe will send photos and other observations over the coming months.

The earliest images could be made public as soon as Wednesday.

After a wait of several hours, there was applause and cheering at Nasa's mission control after it was announced that New Horizons was in full working order.

"We have a healthy spacecraft," a Nasa staff member announced. "We've just accomplished the most distant flyby."

At just 30km (18 mile) wide, Ultima Thule is one of hundreds of thousands of rocks that make up the Kuiper belt - the band of frozen material that orbits the sun in the far reaches of the Solar System.
01-01-2019 11:09 AM
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sts60 Offline
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Post: #38
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
The biggest sigh of relief/whoop of exultation has to be when the SSR (solid state recorder) pointers were exactly where they were predicted to be, indicating a successful data acquisition.
01-01-2019 06:01 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #39
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
01-02-2019 01:38 PM
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GoodOwl Offline
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Post: #40
RE: OT: PLUTO Press Conferences- New images-explanations
This is the farthest object we've ever flown out to photograph...so far. Pretty exciting achievement for humanity.

Here Is the First Image from New Horizons' Ultima Thule Flyby

[Image: jan1-2018-press-lease-image1-1546451219....1440%3A%2A]
(This post was last modified: 01-02-2019 01:46 PM by GoodOwl.)
01-02-2019 01:46 PM
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