Where New Horizons is

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bystander
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Help Nickname New Horizons' Next Flyby Target

Postby bystander » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:36 pm

Help Nickname New Horizons' Next Flyby Target
NASA | JHUAPL | SETI | New Horizons | 2017 Nov 06

NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt is looking for your ideas on what to informally name its next flyby destination, a billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) past Pluto.

On New Year's Day 2019, the New Horizons spacecraft will fly past a small, frozen world in the Kuiper Belt, at the outer edge of our solar system. The target Kuiper Belt object (KBO) currently goes by the official designation "(486958) 2014 MU69." NASA and the New Horizons team are asking the public for help in giving "MU69" a nickname to use for this exploration target. ...

The naming campaign is hosted by the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California, and led by Mark Showalter, an institute fellow and member of the New Horizons science team. The website includes names currently under consideration; site visitors can vote for their favorites or nominate names they think should be added to the ballot. "The campaign is open to everyone," Showalter said. "We are hoping that somebody out there proposes the perfect, inspiring name for MU69."

The campaign will close at 3 p.m. EST/noon PST on Dec. 1. NASA and the New Horizons team will review the top vote-getters and announce their selection in early January.

To submit your suggested names and to vote for your favorites, go to: http://frontierworlds.seti.org
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alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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UCSC: Hydrocarbon Haze Keeps Pluto Colder Than Expected

Postby bystander » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:54 pm

Pluto's Hydrocarbon Haze Keeps Pluto Colder Than Expected
University of California, Santa Cruz | 2017 Nov 15

The gas composition of a planet's atmosphere generally determines how much heat gets trapped in the atmosphere. For the dwarf planet Pluto, however, the predicted temperature based on the composition of its atmosphere was much higher than actual measurements taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft in 2015.

A new study published November 16 in Nature proposes a novel cooling mechanism controlled by haze particles to account for Pluto's frigid atmosphere. ...

The cooling mechanism involves the absorption of heat by the haze particles, which then emit infrared radiation, cooling the atmosphere by radiating energy into space. The result is an atmospheric temperature of about 70 Kelvin (minus 203 degrees Celsius, or minus 333 degrees Fahrenheit), instead of the predicted 100 Kelvin (minus 173 Celsius, or minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit). ...

Extensive layers of atmospheric haze can be seen in images of Pluto taken by New Horizons. The haze results from chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere, where ultraviolet radiation from the sun ionizes nitrogen and methane, which react to form tiny hydrocarbon particles tens of nanometers in diameter. As these tiny particles sink down through the atmosphere, they stick together to form aggregates that grow larger as they descend, eventually settling onto the surface. ...

The researchers are interested in studying the effects of haze particles on the atmospheric energy balance of other planetary bodies, such as Neptune's moon Triton and Saturn's moon Titan. Their findings may also be relevant to investigations of exoplanets with hazy atmospheres. ...

Haze heats Pluto’s atmosphere yet explains its cold temperature - Xi Zhang, Darrell F. Strobel, Hiroshi Imanaka
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
— Garrison Keillor

BDanielMayfield
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Re: Where New Horizons is

Postby BDanielMayfield » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:57 pm

The haze results from chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere, where ultraviolet radiation from the sun ionizes nitrogen and methane, which react to form tiny hydrocarbon particles tens of nanometers in diameter. As these tiny particles sink down through the atmosphere, they stick together to form aggregates that grow larger as they descend, eventually settling onto the surface. ...

In other words, it snows frozen smog on Pluto.
"Happy are the peaceable ... "


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