Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: New Portrait Made of Pluto and its Moons

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    29,100

    New Portrait Made of Pluto and its Moons

    New Portrait Made of Pluto and its Moons


    New images of Pluto and its moons are among the sharpest ever made, astronomers announced today.

    Pluto, long called a planet, was downgraded last year to "dwarf planet" status by the International Astronomical Union. It is so far away that no clear pictures of it exist.

    The new images are 20 times brighter than those taken of Pluto 30 years ago when its large moon Charon was discovered. The resulting snapshots are expected to bring astronomers closer to estimating the sizes of Pluto's satellites, Nix, Hydra and Charon.

    "Several favorable factors occurred simultaneously to yield these spectacular images of the Pluto system," said astronomer David Tholen, who performed the observations during an early September evening with one of Mauna Kea's twin Keck telescopes.

    Tholen relied on the adaptive optics system of Keck, which compensates for turbulence from Earth's atmosphere that typically blurs the light from celestial bodies. In addition, Pluto was at its maximum brightness that night, giving the adaptive optics "stellar" conditions.

    He took 16 images of the system and combined them into a single picture, resulting in clear views of Nix and Hydra, Pluto's small satellites that were discovered in 2005 with the Hubble Space Telescope.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    19,912
    Nice image. Thanks.
    Forming opinions as we speak

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    773
    Nice pics of the system, but how are they considered "better" that this baby assembled from Hubble observations?

    http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0103/pluto_sri.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    18,945
    Quote Originally Posted by Saluki View Post
    Nice pics of the system, but how are they considered "better" that this baby assembled from Hubble observations?
    You just said it. It's the best "single" picture of them to date. Yours is a composite.

    Anyway, do I dare mention the use of the word "moon" with a non-planet?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Anyway, do I dare mention the use of the word "moon" with a non-planet?
    What else would one call Charon, Styx, Hydra, Dysnomia, Dactyl, and the unnamed companions of assorted asteroids and trans-Neptune objects (oops, IAU member, better make that "small solar-system bodies in orbits mostly between Mars and Jupiter or beyond Neptune, respectively)?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    424
    That is amazing. I really looking forward to the next eight years!

Similar Threads

  1. Pluto Was Born With Its Moons
    By Fraser in forum Universe Today
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2006-May-08, 11:42 PM
  2. three moons of pluto
    By rambo07 in forum Space/Astronomy Questions and Answers
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 2005-Nov-07, 12:55 PM
  3. Two New Moons for Pluto?
    By Fraser in forum Universe Today
    Replies: 29
    Last Post: 2005-Nov-02, 08:54 PM
  4. Pluto Has 3 Moons ?
    By Vilkata in forum Space Exploration
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 2005-Nov-02, 03:12 AM
  5. Pluto has three moons!
    By The Bad Astronomer in forum Astronomy
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 2005-Oct-31, 09:37 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
here
The forum is sponsored in-part by: