New Mysteries on Pluto

Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby Spider » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:51 pm

Having trouble imagining it. Sublimation is pretty gentle and gradual that far from the sun, I'd bet. For this, I'm thinking there would need to be something a lot more energetic going on. Hell, there isn't even enough gravity to effectively retain that temporary atmosphere, much less carve out surface features with it.

Planetary science peeps are actually pretty blown away right now at what they're seeing. This near total lack of cratering was a big surprise to all. They're talking about resurfacing with heat. Belching up new layers of ice and material from below the surface.
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby fstarcstar » Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:20 pm

Spider, fyi I wasn't trying to be a douche, I am fascinated with the images of Pluto and have recently become really interested with space in general. So dont hate me, I just wondered why it was significant because anything I've read up to this point doesn't seem all that exciting, I can always be proven wrong.

Based off your comments above, are some insinuating that Pluto may have an inner core with lava, or something else?
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby Spider » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:09 pm

I don't hate you. Its pretty much a certainty I've developed a complex around here. Possibly I misread the tone of your post. If so, apologies.

And I don't think its actually a molten core, but more likely a radiological process causing extremely cold things to be somewhat less cold than the things nearby. So liquid nitrogen, for example, would be analogous to lava, and volcanic eruptions would be about shooting out ice and some amounts of liquid and gas at extremely low temperatures. There could actually be "bedrock" made of water ice. Methane, nitrogen, carbon monoxide...ice made of these isn't strong enough to support the weight of 10,000 ft high mountain ranges. So there has to be some serious geology going on. At these -400 degree temperatures, water ice, on the other hand, is strong enough to do it at this gravity load. And there is evidence of a sort of weathering.

I haven't read anything where anyone suggested volcanic activity clear out on that frozen rock.

This is all interesting because that sort of activity requires energy to make it happen. There needs to be internal temperature differentials, convective currents, irradiation from outside, or gravitational sheer and tidal effects...all of which are though to be in extremely short supply on Pluto, so far from the sun, so far from any major planetary gravity wells, and so lacking in extant mass in the local system to explain it. Obviously the energy has to be coming from somewhere, but my reading of the findings so far suggests that there is still a lot of debate about exactly what that is.
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby Medius » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:18 pm

There's only one conclusion. We have to blow up Pluto and see what's inside. Science demands it.

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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby fstarcstar » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:31 pm

Spider, you think by chance that Pluto had those shortly after its inception (I.e. Big bang theory or other event) and then was possible frozen after its distance from the sun came about?

I wouldn't doubt every single planet has an inner core like ours, just not as large or in a place where it could ever grow.
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby Medius » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:50 pm

fstarcstar wrote:Spider, you think by chance that Pluto had those shortly after its inception (I.e. Big bang theory or other event) and then was possible frozen after its distance from the sun came about?

I wouldn't doubt every single planet has an inner core like ours, just not as large or in a place where it could ever grow.


Not big bang. Off by quite a long amount of time. Planets form through accretion during the formation of stars. Pluto probably was one of the first objects to form. The interesting bit is that the energy may differentiate it from what is thought to be the origin of Pluto, the Kuiper Belt. If pluto isn't a big chunk of ice, they may have to either take another hard look a the other objects in the Kuiper Belt or consider alternatives to the origins of Pluto.
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby John Galt » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:09 pm

fstarcstar wrote:Spider, you think by chance that Pluto had those shortly after its inception (I.e. Big bang theory or other event) and then was possible frozen after its distance from the sun came about?

I wouldn't doubt every single planet has an inner core like ours, just not as large or in a place where it could ever grow.


mars had a core like ours, one that was generating a magnetic field. it doesn't anymore, and solar wind has stripped its atmosphere. pluto could have a dynamo at its core. i mean, it could. we just dont know enough about the heavens

also pluto, like earth, came well after the big bang. we're in third generation of stars (population I stars are the sun, pop III stars, since they were the last discovered, are the oldest, and have no metals///we're all made of stars)
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby Medius » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:24 pm

John Galt wrote:
fstarcstar wrote:Spider, you think by chance that Pluto had those shortly after its inception (I.e. Big bang theory or other event) and then was possible frozen after its distance from the sun came about?

I wouldn't doubt every single planet has an inner core like ours, just not as large or in a place where it could ever grow.


mars had a core like ours, one that was generating a magnetic field. it doesn't anymore, and solar wind has stripped its atmosphere. pluto could have a dynamo at its core. i mean, it could. we just dont know enough about the heavens

also pluto, like earth, came well after the big bang. we're in third generation of stars (population I stars are the sun, pop III stars, since they were the last discovered, are the oldest, and have no metals///we're all made of stars)


Yeah, the idea of it having some sort of active core just pretty much kills the current origin theories for the dwarf planet. It also could mean that cores don't quite work the way we think they do.

Interestingly, it is easier for us to explore Pluto than the core of our own planet. I've read that scientists actually think it may be extremely unlikely that we will ever have the technology to get any direct observation of our own planetary core.
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby The Comrade » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:27 pm

we could crack earth in half by hitting it with a dwarf planet. then we could observe the core.
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Re: New Mysteries on Pluto

Postby Spider » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:31 pm

fstarcstar wrote:Spider, you think by chance that Pluto had those shortly after its inception (I.e. Big bang theory or other event) and then was possible frozen after its distance from the sun came about?

I wouldn't doubt every single planet has an inner core like ours, just not as large or in a place where it could ever grow.


Just depends. Earth and Venus and Mercury have molten cores. Mars doesn't. Trouble with Pluto is its not very dense. Eris, which is quite a bit smaller, is actually far more massive than Pluto. Up to half of its mass is made up of water ice. There could be a small metallic core, but even if there was a lot of radioactivity going on, the best we could hope for is liquid water slurry surrounding that core. There was talk a few years back that this liquid water, if its there, could harbor life somehow. If there was a spinning core, I'm sure they'd have picked up an EM field with their instruments. Haven't heard anything about that.

Big Bang was way earlier than the planets forming. Solar system is around 5 billion years old. Big Bang was more like 14 billion. Pluto probably formed in the deep freeze, soaking up lighter elements as opposed to heavy rocky stuff because its so far out where the solar wind is weaker. In terms of composition its not much different than all the other Kuiper belt rocks floating around out there. Eris, for example. Though, as I said. Its denser.

Been over a decade for me since comparative planetology. I'm sure a lot has changed.
Last edited by Spider on Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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