X-RAYS COMING FROM PLUTO? THAT’S STRANGE, WHAT’S CAUSING IT?

Uncategorized
Share

From universetoday.com
Once held to be the outermost planet of the Solar System, Pluto‘s designation was changed by the International Astronomical Union in 2006, owing to the discovery of many new Kuiper Belt Objects that were comparable in size. In spite of this, Pluto remains a source of fascination and a focal point of much scientific interest. And even after the historic flyby conducted by the New Horizons probe in July of 2015, many mysteries remain.

What’s more, ongoing analysis of the NH data has revealed new mysteries. For instance, a recent study by a team of astronomers indicated that a survey by the Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed the presence of some rather strong x-rays emissions coming from Pluto. This was unexpected, and is causing scientists to rethink what they thought they knew about Pluto’s atmosphere and its interaction with solar wind.

In the past, many Solar bodies have been observed emitting x-rays, which were the result of interaction between solar wind and neutral gases (like argon and nitrogen). Such emissions have been detected from planets like Venus and Mars (due to the presence of argon and/or nitrogen in their atmospheres), but also with smaller bodies like comets – which acquire halos due to outgassing.

Artist’s impression of New Horizons’ close encounter with the Pluto–Charon system. Credit: NASA/JHU APL/SwRI/Steve Gribben

Ever since the NH probe conducted its flyby of Pluto in 2015, astronomers have been aware that Pluto has an atmosphere which changes size and density with the seasons. Basically, as the planet reaches perihelion during its 248 year orbital period – a distance of 4,436,820,000 km, 2,756,912,133 mi from the Sun – the atmosphere thickens due to the sublimation of frozen nitrogen and methane on the surface.

The last time Pluto was at perihelion was on September 5th, 1989, which means that it was still experiencing summer when NH made its flyby. While studying Pluto, the probe detected an atmosphere that was primarily composed of nitrogen gas (N²) along with methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO²). Astronomers therefore decided to look for signs of x-ray emissions coming from Pluto’s atmosphere using the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Prior to the NH mission’s flyby, most models of Pluto’s atmosphere expected it to be quite extended. However, the probe found that the atmosphere was less extended and that its rate of loss was hundreds of times lower than what these models predicted. Therefore, as the team indicated in their study, they expected to find x-ray emissions that were consistent with what the NH flyby observed:

“Given that most pre-encounter models of Pluto’s atmosphere had predicted it to be much more extended, with an estimated loss rate to space of ~1027 to 1028 mol/sec of N² and CH4… we attempted to detect X-ray emission created by [solar wind] neutral gas charge exchange interactions in the low density neutral gas surrounding Pluto,” they wrote. […]

Read more at: https://www.universetoday.com/136320/know-x-rays-coming-pluto-thats-strange-whats-causing/


Uncategorized
The Black Vault: Classified / Restricted Reports in NASA’s Technical Reports Server (NTRS), dated through 1980
Share

From theblackvault.com Background According to NASA: “The NASA Scientific and Technical Information (STI) Program was established to support the objectives of NASA’s missions and research. The Mission of the STI Program is to support the advancement of aerospace knowledge and contribute to U.S. competitiveness in aerospace research and development. This …

Uncategorized
Stanford Prof: “We have proof of UFOs!”
Share

From ufopartisan.blogspot.co.uk Peter Sturrock is an emeritus professor of applied physics at Stanford University and one of the very few scientists who has publicly expressed a great deal of interest in UFOs and acted on that interest by twice surveying colleagues on the subject which resulted in some very surprising …

Uncategorized
TECH INSIDERS: ‘OUR MINDS CAN BE HIJACKED’
Share

From theguardian.com Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks who worry the race for human attention has created a world of perpetual distraction that could ultimately end in disaster. ustin Rosenstein had …