NASA's New Horizon Reveals Pluto's Snakeskin Surface - InformationWeek

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9/27/2015
10:06 AM

NASA's New Horizon Reveals Pluto's Snakeskin Surface

The New Horizons mission to Pluto continues to amaze, as new images reveal a complex system of geography and chemical composition.

(Image: NASA)

(Image: NASA)

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zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 10:05:25 AM
Re: NASA's New Horizon Reveals Pluto's Snakeskin Surface
@SunitaT0,

That, in itself, is an issue of some interest to me. What makes understanding one phenomenon more important (or more difficult) than another? Choosing one mission over another for NASA staff must be a bit like choosing one child over another. This is my first time hearing about the lights on Ceres, but I was interested, so I looked up a bit about them. The images of them are striking. It seems the two main theories are some kind of gas expulsion, or reflection from some material (like ice or salt). I do see how one could be skeptical of these explanations - don't other planets/bodies have both those features without such bright spots? But, I'm no astrophysicist - perhaps someone with more knowledge can enlighten.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2015 | 12:35:18 PM
Re: NASA's New Horizon Reveals Pluto's Snakeskin Surface
If these are the clearest images of Pluto, then why can't Nasa come to conclusion about the strange lights in the crater of Ceres? 
jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2015 | 1:59:33 PM
Definitely not the outermost dwarf planet
Last I checked, that was Eris.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2015 | 11:23:05 AM
Exciting stuff
Onwards and upwards space fans. Here's hoping The Martian can continue the momentum of Interstellar, but on a more reachable level, and continue to inspire people to be interested in space travel. 
zerox203
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zerox203,
User Rank: Ninja
9/28/2015 | 11:10:39 AM
Re: NASA's New Horizon Reveals Pluto's Snakeskin Surface
No doubt amazing, but some of this is certainly over my head. The wording leaves me wanting to know a little more. What's so unexpected about the crests on Pluto's surface? The fact that they're so unfirom? In the picture provided, is that the raised section towards the top of the image - would a more zoomed-in image reveal something that's more striking to the human eye? I expect the actual names for regions of Pluto's surface will be as foreign to most readers as they are to me, but it's not surprising that such a system exists. Will scientists' existing knowledge of the gas structure and resulting colors on other planets (like our gas giants) help them in understanding what's going on on Pluto? I hope these discoveries breed a generation of students as curious about space as I was at that age.
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