Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Oh My! Pluto? That Doesn't Look Like Neptune's Triton -- At All!

At least a few hundred thousand years ago, many of our collective ancestors walked on foot, out of the Oldupai Gorge region, of mother Africa -- having occupied it, even as homo habilus, for well over 2 million years, to that point. We were headed for other, new(er) lands. In these past 24 hours, then -- all of us have taken another leap forward, from that moment -- outward, from that, our cradle -- to explore whole worlds never before seen. This is a heady moment in the history. . . of human history.

To the chase, then: the New Horizons science team was positively giddy at 3 pm this afternoon, at their press briefing -- for good reason (and not even considering that they are working on about three hours sleep in the last 40 or so hours). Not only is the data obviously all captured and stored, aboard the craft, but the tantalizing bits so far transmitted suggest a world unlike any we've previously seen. Many planetary geologists expected to see a relatively smooth, polished, icy surface, like that on Neptune's moon Triton. What we've seen thus far at least, is in almost no manner like Neptune's Triton.

Here's a look at the bottom point of the "heart" formation, on Pluto -- just released, via YouTube, by NASA. We are going to learn about whole new processes -- in world formation, from this data, I predict -- in the coming months and years:

Onward! -- grinning a goofy, ear to ear, wide-eyed space science grin, now. . .

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