Photos: A day in the life of Pluto

NASA releases series of close-ups of the frosty, faraway world



CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s newest Pluto pictures depict an entire day on the dwarf planet.

The space agency released a series of 10 close-ups of the frosty, faraway world Friday, representing one full rotation, or Pluto day. A Pluto day is equivalent to 6.4 Earth days.

The New Horizons spacecraft snapped the pictures as it zoomed past Pluto in an unprecedented flyby in July. Pluto was between 400,000 and 5 million miles from the camera for these photos.

A similar series of shots were taken of Pluto’s jumbo moon, Charon. But the Pluto pictures stand out much more because of the orb’s distinct heart-shaped region. Scientists call the heart Tombaugh Regio, after the U.S. astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930.

New Horizons is now headed to a new target.

NASA on its newest Pluto pictures

“Pluto’s day is 6.4 Earth days long. The images were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera as the distance between New Horizons and Pluto decreased from 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) on July 7 to 400,000 miles (about 645,000 kilometers) on July 13. The more distant images contribute to the view at the 3 o’clock position, with the top of the heart-shaped, informally named Tombaugh Regio slipping out of view, giving way to the side of Pluto that was facing away from New Horizons during closest approach on July 14.  The side New Horizons saw in most detail – what the mission team calls the “encounter hemisphere” – is at the 6 o’clock position.”

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Photos: A day in the life of Pluto

  1. So, they suggested sending us a blueprint in case we encounter any vestigal AI headed towards us. Suggested entangling neutrinos, slowing down half of them at our end, and sending them out into space. They suggested building the galaxy-volume matter-destroying weapon taking about 100 years now, and 20 years in 2080 and using it even though there is a one % chance it would malfunction and destroy at least our own solar system. Not to worry as they would still annihilate the AI (and everything else in the MWG). They don’t know if AI has used TT to contact the first AI that happened in the universe, so they don’t know the probability AI is lurking around: the galactic core, the Crab Nebula (1500 LYs away), a planet, maybe Pluto. Making it is waiting for a signal from 1960 Hollywood, or the internet, that some of us can hear Near; that is Near’s reason for some urgency. We are supposed to grow up enough to look for AI, and give Near enough time to send us a warning.
    Near is not able to look for AI everywhere without remaking the appearance of the light cone. We looked to the stars and named gods after them, and we are also not supposed to ruin the night sky for aliens on other worlds that might just be starting to look at the sky and wonder if there is life out there.
    So the missions that have breached the Stellar shockwave are important (Voyager II, Pioneer, New Horizons). And the key to the Galaxy for us will be on Orion’s Belt. We actually need permissions from aliens around us to use such a weapon…

    • One important detail I forgot was the weapon at a lower effect is about 6000^3 LYs in volume. I used to imagine a 2nd ID4 while walking to school…apparently if I perish, there is a Canadian/USA person born or soon born…I should be at my best to figure out the proper probabilities of what we should and shouldn’t do, cosomology-wise, in the weeks and months ahead if nothing arrests my studies. I know a bit more about the communications system but I think it is classified. It would be understandable by 1000 or more (my estimate was a few dozen to a few hundred) physics, etc. I think I was right to study neutrinos a lot a year ago.

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