Ice Mountains On Pluto

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Hi everyone,

Guess What? Ice and Mountains on Pluto!

Here’s the latest. Nasa has discovered a relatively young mountain range and ice; how fascinating.

Here’s a segment of the article from nasa.gov.

Icy mountains on Pluto and a new, crisp view of its largest moon, Charon, are among the several discoveries announced Wednesday by NASA’s New Horizons team, just one day after the spacecraft’s first ever Pluto flyby.

The Icy Mountains of Pluto

The Icy Mountains of Pluto

“Pluto New Horizons is a true mission of exploration showing us why basic scientific research is so important,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “The mission has had nine years to build expectations about what we would see during closest approach to Pluto and Charon. Today, we get the first sampling of the scientific treasure collected during those critical moments, and I can tell you it dramatically surpasses those high expectations.”

“Home run!” said Alan Stern, principal investigator for New Horizons at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado. “New Horizons is returning amazing results already. The data look absolutely gorgeous, and Pluto and Charon are just mind blowing.”

A new close-up image of an equatorial region near the base of Pluto’s bright heart-shaped feature shows a mountain range with peaks jutting as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters) above the surface of the icy body.

The mountains on Pluto likely formed no more than 100 million years ago — mere youngsters in a 4.56-billion-year-old solar system. This suggests the close-up region, which covers about one percent of Pluto’s surface, may still be geologically active today.

“This is one of the youngest surfaces we’ve ever seen in the solar system,” said Jeff Moore of the New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging Team (GGI) at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

Unlike the icy moons of giant planets, Pluto cannot be heated by gravitational interactions with a much larger planetary body. Some other process must be generating the mountainous landscape.

“This may cause us to rethink what powers geological activity on many other icy worlds,” says GGI deputy team leader John Spencer at SwRI.

The new view of Charon reveals a youthful and varied terrain. Scientists are surprised by the apparent lack of craters. A swath of cliffs and troughs stretching about 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) suggests widespread fracturing of Charon’s crust, likely the result of internal geological processes. The image also shows a canyon estimated to be 4 to 6 miles (7 to 9 kilometers) deep. In Charon’s north polar region, the dark surface markings have a diffuse boundary, suggesting a thin deposit or stain on the surface.

New Horizons also observed the smaller members of the Pluto system, which includes four other moons: Nix, Hydra, Styx and Kerberos. A new sneak-peak image of Hydra is the first to reveal its apparent irregular shape and its size, estimated to be about 27 by 20 miles (43 by 33 kilometers).

The observations also indicate Hydra’s surface is probably coated with water ice. Future images will reveal more clues about the formation of this and the other moon billions of years ago. Spectroscopic data from New Horizons’ Ralph instruments reveal an abundance of methane ice, but with striking differences among regions across the frozen surface of Pluto.

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J.A. here. Isn’t that fantastic! What other secrets does Pluto have that we will soon know? Thanks again Nasa.

Thanks for tuning in. I’m J.A. Ireland.

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NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft Begins First Stages of Pluto Encounter

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Space Lovers, I’m J. A. Ireland. I’ve had an interest in space from a very young age and I’ve always been very interested in what Nasa’s working on. For my interest and learning, and perhaps others, I’m going to track the spacecraft, New Horizons as it approaches Pluto, and other points of interest while I’m at it.

New Horizons Spacecraft Approaches Pluto

New Horizons Spacecraft Approaches Pluto

This is the beginning of an exciting new era for humanity. Imagine what we as a civilization will learn from Nasa’s work? What we’ve already learned?  The contributions Nasa’s made throughout history to humanity is unmatched. My thanks and I’m sure countless others thank Nasa and their personnel for their work and achievements. Some of my article today is taken from nasa’s website, nasa.gov—as are many photos. Some are from the Hubble telescope as well. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft recently began its long-awaited, historic encounter with Pluto. The spacecraft is entering the first of several approach phases that culminate July 14 with the first close-up flyby of the dwarf planet, 4.67 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) from Earth.

New Horizons

New Horizons-2

New Horizons

“NASA’s first mission to distant Pluto will also be humankind’s first close up view of this cold, unexplored world in our solar system,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “The New Horizons team worked very hard to prepare for this first phase, and they did it flawlessly.” The fastest spacecraft when it was launched, New Horizons lifted off in January 2006. It awoke from its final hibernation period last month after a voyage of more than 3 billion miles, and will soon pass close to Pluto, inside the orbits of its five known moons. In preparation  for the close encounter, the mission’s science, engineering and spacecraft operations teams configured the piano-sized probe for distant observations of the Pluto system that start Sunday, Jan. 25 with a long-range photo shoot. The images captured by New Horizons’ telescopic Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) will give mission scientists a continually improving look at the dynamics of Pluto’s moons. The images also will play a critical role in navigating the spacecraft as it covers the remaining 135 million miles (220 million kilometers) to Pluto. TimelineTimeline of the approach and departure phases — surrounding close approach on July 14, 2015 — of the New Horizons Pluto encounter. Credits: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI “We’ve completed the longest journey any spacecraft has flown from Earth to reach its primary target, and we are ready to begin exploring,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator from Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. LORRI will take hundreds of pictures of Pluto over the next few months to refine current estimates of the distance between the spacecraft and the dwarf planet. Though the Pluto system will resemble little more than bright dots in the camera’s view until May, mission navigators will use the data to design course-correction maneuvers to aim the spacecraft toward its target point this summer. The first such maneuver could occur as early as March. “We need to refine our knowledge of where Pluto will be when New Horizons flies past it,” said Mark Holdridge, New Horizons encounter mission manager at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland. “The flyby timing also has to be exact, because the computer commands that will orient the spacecraft and point the science instruments are based on precisely knowing the time we pass Pluto – which these images will help us determine.” The “optical navigation” campaign that begins this month marks the first time pictures from New Horizons will be used to help pinpoint Pluto’s location.

OUR SOLAR SYSTEM  

Planets via Hubble Telescope

Planets via PhotoJournal

Throughout the first approach phase, which runs until spring, New Horizons will conduct a significant amount of additional science. Spacecraft instruments will gather continuous data on the interplanetary environment where the planetary system orbits, including measurements of the high-energy particles streaming from the sun and dust-particle concentrations in the inner reaches of the Kuiper Belt. In addition to Pluto, this area, the unexplored outer region of the solar system, potentially includes thousands of similar icy, rocky small planets.

Dawn Survey Orbit Image 11

Dawn Survey Orbit Image 11

More intensive studies of Pluto begin in the spring, when the cameras and spectrometers aboard New Horizons will be able to provide image resolutions higher than the most powerful telescopes on Earth. Eventually, the spacecraft will obtain images good enough to map Pluto and its moons more accurately than achieved by previous planetary reconnaissance missions. APL manages the New Horizons mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, is the principal investigator and leads the mission. SwRI leads the science team, payload operations, and encounter science planning. New Horizons is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. APL designed, built and operates the spacecraft. For more information about the New Horizons mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/newhorizons and http://pluto.jhuapl.edu Dwayne Brown Headquarters, Washington 202-358-1726 dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov Michael Buckley Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Md. 240-228-7536 michael.buckley@jhuapl.edu Maria Stothoff Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio 210-522-3305 maria.stothoff@swri.org Last Updated: June 30, 2015 Editor: Karen Northon Tags:  New Horizons, Pluto, Solar System Pluto I’m keeping a close eye on New Horizons and will report it on this blog. May good fortune guide your path. I’m J. A. Ireland.

Solar Dynamics Observatory Sees M7.9-Class Solar Flare

Solar Dynamics Observatory Sees M7.9-Class Solar Flare

Astronaunts Working In Space

Flying Over An Aurora

Excerpt From; The Unthinkable Duo of Justice

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Greetings from Kinkorx;  it’s J.A. Ireland,

Many people of Earth downloaded my novel during the giveaway; thank you to all who did. In this letter, I’m inserting  one of many very difficult times in Maxx’s childhood.  This small segment is from, The Unthinkable Duo of Justice.

Maxx is working on a case. He visited Police Chief Zog Morxoc, of the Kinkorx Police Department. Now, he’s on his way to the Kinkorx Medical School to continue the investigation.  The segment begins.***

He smiled again as he drove. “Now that I have the approval of Chief Morxoc, it’s time to visit the Kinkorx Medical School.”

As he drove in the direction of the school, his mind flashed to a painful scene from his youth. Maxx was in the sixth grade, in Mrs. HyLubb’s class. “My science report is on Seslean Astronomy,” Young Maxx said nervously as he stood before the class.

Mrs. HyLubb nodded her approval. “Proceed.”

He took a deep breath as he nervously began his oral report. “The galaxy where the Croster Slux Solar System spirals is the Whirlpool Galaxy. The solar system where our planet spirals is the Croster Slux Solar System. The planet we live on is known as Sesla.”

He paused briefly to regain his anxious breathe and stabilize his wobbling legs. He took a deep breath before continuing. “The Whirlpool Galaxy, where the Croster Slux Solar System spirals inside and Sesla spirals within it, is much brighter than the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s also 23.5 million light years away from the Milky Way. The planet Sesla revolves around the sun. The sun gives us light and heat.”

Again, he paused to regain his depleting breath while attempting to control his nervous shaking. He took another deep breath, and continued. “Sesla is the fifth planet from the sun. In addition, on a proper night, with the use of an advanced telescope, we can see the Milky Way Galaxy.” He was out of breath and trembling as he finished his report. He terrifyingly listened as Mrs. HyLubb began her critique.

“Well Maxx, I’m not sure where to begin,” Mrs. HyLubb said with a demeaning frown. “Although your report was interesting, I’m afraid it wasn’t ready to present. There were several errors in structure, as well as grammar. You also left out many very important facts.” She sighed. “I will include my comments on your evaluation. Please be seated.” She glared at him with her usual, “I’m very disappointed in you,” glare.

He walked disgracefully to his desk. As he shamefully trudged, his fellow classmates laughed at him.

Suddenly Maxx’s thoughts returned to the present as he drove toward the medical school. He smiled with a conquering smirk. “I have a very special painting that I created just for you, Mrs. HyLubb.” As he drove toward Leqtus Kin’s employer, he remembered the reporters… Segment ends.

It’s JA again. I chose this segment to further define Maxx Zeqster. He and I are lifelong friends therefore, I know him well.  This is another example of the adversities he has overcame in his life to become the incredible  detective that he is today.

Thanks again for downloading my novel.  After reading it, please take a moment to add a brief review on the amazon page. If you like, click on the book cover to get there from here. I will offer other specials; stay tuned.

May good fortune guide your path,

J.A. Ireland