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ElectricWhite ElectricWhite is a Female
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Remember when everybody thought Pluto was a cold, dead rock on the edge of our solar system?

I was just watching an episode of How the Universe Works on the Science Channel ("The Secret History of Pluto") when I learned that the New Horizons probe blew that assumption out of the water! (Pun not intended.)

The first thing -- that Pluto was geologically dead -- was proved wrong when we all saw the first images of Sputnik Planitia (the heart-shaped plain.) There are also cryo-volcanoes and liquid nitrogen glaciers.

Second, it's not really cold -- there is some sort of heat source that allows liquid nitrogen to exist. At first, this really shocked scientists, since Pluto isn't big enough to have a molten core, and it's too far away for sunlight to have any real impact. But, according to Wikipedia, they found an explanation:

Because the decay of radioactive elements would eventually heat the ices enough for the rock to separate from them, scientists expect that Pluto's internal structure is differentiated, with the rocky material having settled into a dense core surrounded by a mantle of water ice.

Oh, and, yeah, they also found liquid water that had been upwelling onto Sputnik Planitia. Which leads into one more big discovery: evidence of organic chemistry. You can see it whenever you look at New Horizon's color pictures (the brownish, reddish areas are believed to be "organic goo".) Now if the organic chemistry is able to percolate down to the water mantle, Pluto will join the ranks of Europa, Titan, and Enceladus as possibly having life. True, it's probably a slim chance, and it would be a very basic, simple life form, but it fits the equation:

heat + liquid water + organic chemistry = life?

If that's blown your mind, then take a few minutes to scrape it off the walls and ceiling!

Finished? Good. Now how many ways can that bit of news effect BotP storylines?

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Ebonyswanne Ebonyswanne is a Female
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For fics this stuff is handy to know, thanks EW! Good plot forming iideas there.

In a recent fic I changed it to being a space station near the planet Pluto revolving around it. Only because I wanted to blow it up, and felt a whole planet was a bit much...

In conversations, I find some science loving people will say its, "not a planet." But recent searches have been saying dwarf planet.

So that being said... the word planet is still being used in its reference.

I'm not a science fanatic, I haven't done anything in it since High School... "google is my friend," keeping up on things like that when I need it. (Although, I like biology.)

(I'd rather a history book or psychology... fiction novels.)

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Redbird Redbird is a Female
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Science is awesome! Biggrins

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ChrisW ChrisW is a Female
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Apparently the problem with calling Pluto a full planet is that they've found a BUNCH of masses that size and with lot of those specifications, so if Pluto is a full planet then so are the rest. That's one reason they changed it to Dwarf Planet or whatever it's called now.

Lots of cool stuff there, EW! Thanks for sharing!

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Ebonyswanne Ebonyswanne is a Female
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quote:
Originally posted by Redbird
Science is awesome! Biggrins


One of my favourite places is Questscon in Canberra ACT. Its all science. Love taking the kids there. So I must have a soft spot for it. Wink
I like star/planet gazing through telescopes.

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This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Ebonyswanne on 15-02-2017 at 06:17.
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ElectricWhite ElectricWhite is a Female
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It's just been announced: organic materials have been found on Ceres!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsS8FMPx8jQ

Could you imagine what our solar system might have been like if intelligent life had developed in all these places?

Pardon me as I go somewhere to giggle like a giddy geek...

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GrumpyGhostOwl GrumpyGhostOwl is a Female
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Now I've got Monty Python's 'Galaxy Song' stuck in my head.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq4uCWtQE24

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Katblu42 Katblu42 is a Female
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Love that song!

"So remember when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth.
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth."

Unless that "intelligent life" in space turns out to be Sosai X!

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Ebonyswanne Ebonyswanne is a Female
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Then there is the classics I grew up with that fans know the famous lines... "Beam me up Scotty..."

The narrator starts... "To boldly go... where no man has gone before..."Ahhh... Thats because her Star ship got there before his... Sorry Capt Kirk... try again. He wants a bigger planet, not a dwarf planet. Its all about size even in space.

Tribbles... my fave ep.

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