Discussion in 'Techforge' started by The Night Funky, Dec 6, 2014.
How far removed does noticeable bodies have to be from the orbital path to qualify as having "cleared a path"? IIRC, there isn't a Kuiper Belt body within a billion miles of Pluto.
And if "clearing a path" is necessary to qualify as a planet, the what about Earth? Doesn't Earth have a whole swarm of asteroids IN OUR ORBITAL PATH at the Trojan positions ?
The whole clearing the path thing is definitely ambiguous. Pluto should not be a planet because it's smaller than Earth's moon. That's more than enough reason IMO.
IIRC, Mercury and Mars are smaller than the moons Ganeymede, Titan, and Callisto. How do relative sizes matter?
That's only true of Mercury. My point is that whether or not something is a planet is somewhat subjective, which is why I mentioned the ambiguous nature of clearing the orbit.
Mercury is more similar to the other rocky planets, whereas Pluto is more similar to a comet. And I could probably construct some complex set of metrics to prove that point. Or, I can just go with the standard for porn -- I know it when I see it.
Pluto might have an atmosphere which IIRC would put it one up on Mercury. Pluto does have several satellites which Mercury does not have.
And I thought Ganymede was larger than Mars as well.
It's not, you can look it up.
You're right. Bigger than Mercury then is Ganymede
Mission to Pluto? There's an app for that: http://m.space.com/29491-pluto-safa...=10152842292491466&adbpl=fb&adbpr=17610706465
Pluto "juggles" its moons.
More pics of Pluto.
It seems to have actual topography.
While I (theoretically) know exactly how this works I'm still intrigued by the precision of the whole operation. I mean, probing Jupiter? Come on, aim straight up and you'll probably hit it by coincidence. But this tiny rock a few billion kilometers away? Awesome.
The video up there does actually a really good job in showing the utter and total loneliness out there. It's likely a human wouldn't care if lonely between Earth and Mars or lonely so far out but just knowing that pretty much nothing happens behind that planet (yes ) for many light years makes it even more fascinating. Also, it's a good measurement of time passing. I was 30 when New Horizons launched and I thought man, this will take forever. Nine years, what an eternity. Well not so much I guess.
Now on to Eris, shall we. We can arrive there when I'm like 80 years old. Seems even more interesting since it's really the last signpost of the solar system. I'll be happy to live stream the event at my house on the moon.
First high res image!
Sooner with a nuclear fission propulsion system.
it's weird how we are influenced by images. all we had until now were more or less blurry pictures in black and white. so naturally i was surprised how it seems to be brown.
also, enigmatic surface structures. lights on ceres, four round dots on pluto?! look at the 'southern' hemisphere. MAN would i be entertained if this was something unnatural
Higher res image!
Brown? I was expecting a frosty white surface; that's what the artist renditions have looked like my entire life.
But it's kinda cool that it isn't totally what we expect.
Lots of organics frozen out on the surface, apparently. Methane, stuff like that.
Yeah, those spots are weird.
And Styx paid a visit to the New Horizons team.
Here's a question: Let's say those weird spots turn out to be artificial, say they have "Made in Alpha Centauri" on them, or something. Absolute proof that we are not alone in the universe. How long would it take us to build a serious probe to go there and study Pluto? We can assume that we'd backburner all other probes to look for life on places like Mars and Europa. Could we, would we, build a probe which reached Pluto in less time than New Horizons has taken?
Article about when we thought Pluto could have been an artificial object.
More at the link, with reasons why Pluto's not artificial.
Yes, and fairly easily. The technology for nuclear propulsion is fairly well in hand. Devote an Apollo-type effort to it and we could get a crew out to Pluto in a couple of years.
Yeah, nuclear fission engines even those based off the 1960s era NERVA design would not be hard to build. The biggest thing would be getting the environmentalists to agree to the test sites but one assumes that with something like proof of extraterrestrial life that would not be an issue.
I would assume a balls to the wall effort by the U.S. with the ESA and Japanese Space Agency contributing technology (and maybe a few billion dollars for crew slots) we could have a manned mission departing within 5-6 years of the word go and taking 4 to 4 & a half years to get there.
Now assume at least a years stay time to explore and refuel, then we're talking about a 10 year round trip mission. Not out of the question especially for something that important but still one hell of a psychological burden on a crew.
We have no idea how to keep a crew alive for a multi-year deep space mission, and the only propulsion systems that could make it happen are a decade or more away if we started working on them in earnest tomorrow. That isn't going to happen. Most of the older members on this board will be dead before a manned landing on Mars happens, let alone one on the moons of Jupiter or Saturn. And a manned mission to Pluto? Why would you need to send a manned vessel there? That's a huge expense for little gain.
Note that I didn't suggest we send humans, since I figured that'd be difficult.
I posted on the supposition that New Horizon finds something interesting enough to warrant a manned mission.
What makes you think that?
Houston, we have a problem.
On the plus side, dig the pic of the reporter who wrote this piece.
Separate names with a comma.