قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Science / These maps of Pluto and his moon Charon are the most detailed ever

These maps of Pluto and his moon Charon are the most detailed ever



  Map of Pluto

Lunar and Planetary Institute / Paul Schenk / NASA / New Horizons

Using data from the New Horizons spacecraft, researchers have created the first comprehensive maps of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon.

The new maps help to complete the official mission of New Horizons: a better understanding of the dwarf planet in the distant regions of the solar system. To create it, NASA scientists used data from New Horizons instruments such as the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI), a telescope with an 8.2-inch aperture. LORRI is essentially a digital camera with a large telephoto lens built to withstand the brutal cold of the outer solar system.

Advertising ̵

1; Read below

At the time of the launch of New Horizons, scientists predicted that LORRI would "provide an unprecedented view of the geology of Pluto and its moons." After taking pictures during the flyby of the probe in 2015, that's exactly what it's done.

<img srcset = "https://hips.hearstapps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/new-pluto-map-1531500557.jpg?crop=1xw:1xh;center,top&resize= 480: * "alt =" Pluto maps "title =" Pluto maps "src =" https://hips.hearstaps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/new-pluto-map-1531500557 .jpg? crop = 1965: A Complete Map of Pluto

Lunar and Planetary Institute / Paul Schenk / NASA / New Horizons

"This was one of the most complex and exciting planetary mapping projects in which I participated. Something new would be revealed each time new images appeared, "said Paul Schenk, a New Horizons researcher at the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) in a press release.

While LORRI and its companion instruments such as The Multi-Spectral Visible Image Camera (MVIC), which returns raw data back to Earth, researchers had to unpack and analyze the data in a meaningful way: this two-year process, which was done in real time as "new." Horizons slowly returned his data required a detailed alignment of the surface features in overlapping images to compose a mosaic of the small world.

Advertising – Read Below

These cartographic and topographic maps provide a level of detail previously unavailable B. the Sputnik Planitia, a 625 Miles of deep frozen nitrogen ice, which is 1.5 miles thick on average, and thus the low is the best known area on Pluto's surface.

From the lowest point to the highest, the maps offer a new look at features like the Tenzing Montes, the highest mountain range on Pluto. Formed on the southwestern edges of Sputnik Planitia, these icy peaks have steep slopes of 40 degrees, which would likely make them expert black diamond trails when on Earth.

  ice dunes pluto "title =" ice dunes pluto "src =" https://hips.hearstaps.com/hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/images/du-es-pluto-image-1531500910.jpg?crop = 1xw: 1xh; center, top & resize = 480

Pluto's methane dunes found between Pluto's mountains and the Sputnik-Planitia

Named after the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, the one alongside Edmund Hillary became the first known man, the Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the region, is located about 3.7 miles above the middle altitude of Pluto – the equivalent of the "dwarf planet" at sea level. It is similar to Denali in Alaska. The mountain range also speaks the different types of ice on Pluto. For example, the nitrogen ice that makes up Sputnik-Planitia would be too weak to sustain a mountain range even in Pluto's low gravity.

The maps have also led to a better understanding of Charon. The tiny moon has hollows that are 8.7 miles deep, deeper than the Mariana Trench, and the charts confirm that Charon probably has ice volcanoes known as cyrovulcans.

  Charon mountains "title =" Charonberge "src =" https: // hips .hearstaps.com / hmg-prod.s3.amazonaws.com / images / 500-plutos039mountainridges-1531501159.jpg? crop = 1xw: 1xh; Middle, top & size = 480: *

The ridges and volcanic plains of Charon.

USRA / NASA

The maps also revealed new secrets about the distant celestial bodies. The longest contiguous feature on Pluto appears to be an eroded first-and-trough system spanning 1,864 miles north-south along the western side of the Sputnik Planitia. There is currently no understanding of how this fracture has formed.

The maps have been archived in the Planetary Data System and will soon be made available to the public. A research report describing the maps was published in the journal Icarus .

New Horizons is not finished yet. The probe recently woke up from months of hibernation to prepare for its next mission: a New Year's Day 2019 with an asteroid farther away than Pluto, named Ultima Thule. After this flyby we were able to get a whole new set of maps of the farthest object ever visited by spacecraft.

Source: USRA


Source link