New high-resolution photos of Pluto coming back!

From New Scientist:

The image on the page would be noteworthy were it of a place on Earth, let alone a region of Pluto, a place so far from Earth it takes an average of seven hours for any information at all to travel from there to here. (That is, the average distance from Earth to Pluto is 7.5 billion kilometers, which works out to about seven light-hours, which is a much more scientific unit of measurement than anything based on the meter, let alone the metre.)

More straight from the horse’s mouth.

Well, somebody has a sense of humor:

“At the bottom is an old, crater-scarred surface informally called Cthulhu Regio.”

The meter is defined by the speed of light in a vacuum, a fixed fraction of a light year by definition (and hence a fixed fraction of a light hour), so basally they are the same.

True at one time the meter was no so fixed, but then again neither was the speed of light to us.

Nice photography! Is that the stick Mickey threw for him that he’s got in his mouth?


I’m thinking the New Horizons mission might rank among the 100 best things the human race has ever done.

Sure, but when it was originally devised, it was 1/10,000,000th the distance between the North Pole and the Equator, which is pretty arbitrary. Every ‘better’ method of defining a meter has been really close to that original distance, and is just a more solid and reproducible method to define the same old thing.

You can say the exact same thing about the mile, then.

Some of the “informal” names for features on Charon:

Tardis Chiasma
Vader Crater
Skywalker Crater
Kirk Crater
Kubrick Mons
Sulu Crater
Uhura Crater
Spock Crater.

McCoy, Checkov and Scottie got screwed.

I guess Pubis Mons would have been undignified?

The latest batch of images.

Just to pick one: The caption doesn’t say anything about the vertical scale being exaggerated; I realize Pluto is a pretty small world, but boy do those mountains look spectacular!

Indeed. It would be fun to hop over them. :wink:

I’m pretty sure that’s on Venus.

The “Chaos Region” looks kind of like an elephant’s eyes and trunk to me. Fascinating to see this stuff.


I was going to single out that exact image. Just totally captures the imagination, doesn’t it?