You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

Nobody Expected Pluto to be This Active

Recent Hubble images of Pluto are showing us a world that may be unexpectedly active on the surface. Such a small object so far away that takes so very long to revolve around the sun should not have very many ways to exercise such rapid changes upon its surface. Scientists studying Pluto say that the color shape shifting seen in just two years is shockingly dramatic and they know these changes are not some image artifact as  Charon (Pluto’s dwarf planet partner) remains unchanged during the same period. Plainly, there is something happening on Pluto that is not taking place on another nearby body.

I expected the arrival of New Horizons at Pluto in 2015 to reveal to us another grey frozen cratered world, but instead… the encounter looks like it might be quite a bit more exciting than expected. I cannot wait to see this black, orange and active world up-close and hopefully New Horizons will also reveal to us what processes could possibly be causing such changes to take place. See Centauri Dreams for more.

2 Responses to “Nobody Expected Pluto to be This Active”

  1. Laurel Kornfeld Says:

    As a dynamic world with geology and weather, Pluto shows it has more in common with the other, bigger planets than it does with most Kuiper Belt Objects except the few large ones, which should be considered planets too. Most KBOs in Pluto’s orbital path are tiny and do not have these features. These images show that before making definitive classifications, we should first get the data and analyze it; otherwise, we are defining objects without knowing significant factors about them.

  2. thomas romer Says:

    hmmm… i think defining planets should be nothing but that. a definition.

    if we discovered an asteroid with some strange processes going on that was only 10 miles wide, i don’t think that should become a planet. pluto is a kuiper belt object or a dwarf planet by definition. it might be the most interesting one is all. what is really odd about pluto is also that it’s moon is so big relative to it. it is really a dual system which in some ways, to me, makes it even less a planet as much of the mass we thought it contained when we discovered it really belonged to its moon.

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