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back to article Pluto's blushing complexion riddle solved by boffins

Boffins using the new Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) on the Hubble telescope have figured out what makes Pluto the colour it is. The South West Research Institute's eggheads discovered a strong ultraviolet-wavelength absorber on the dwarf planet's surface, which suggests that there are complex hydrocarbon and nitrile …

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Anonymous Coward

Dwarf Planet

Dear IAU,

Your mom thought I was big enough.

Yours sincerely,

Pluto.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:Dwarf Planet

Oh yeah?

Step aside, Tiny!

Regards

Jupiter.

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Anonymous Coward

Re:Dwarf Planet

Dear Jupiter:

Oh, honey, let's don't start this again. We all know you're sensitive about your figure, and it can't be easy to make a life for yourself as a failed star. But it's no good putting yourself forward -- especially when it means getting in the way of looks like mine.

Love,

Saturn

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Silver badge

Re: Dwarf Planet

Dear Sol,

Can you ask your planets to keep the noise down?

Regards,

Proxima Centauri

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Anonymous Coward

Dear Universe,

You're at it again, I've called the inter-universal noise police.

Regards,

Universe 443982442 (Dave)

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Failed star?

At 100 times too small I'd say Jupiter has more than failed. :)

It's 10 times too small to be a brown dwarf even.

Oh, and Saturn; maybe you are less massive but since your volume is almost identical you still fill out your tracksuit to more than bursting... honey.

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Anonymous Coward

Maybe, dear, but

who can complain when I make it look so good?

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Anonymous Coward

Hey, you kids!

Keep it down out there!

Don't make me turn this spiral arm around!

- Sol (AKA Dad)

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Unhappy

I suggest you keep quiet. Look what happened to me when I complained.

Yours

The Asteroid Belt.

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Megaphone

Any more trouble out of you lot and I'll be calling the Vogons!

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Bronze badge

... and that ring is way too bling.

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Anonymous Coward

Dear IAU

Could you please consider renaming the wannabe planet Pluto to something else that would leave no doubts as to it's stature, such as "Sarkozy".

Yours sincerely,

David Cameron

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Bit blurry innit?

What, did they have to take out COSTAR to make room for the new spectrograph?

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Oh shit they did!

No wonder you can't make out anything in that picture.

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Boffin

re: COSTAR

You know COSTAR was made redundant, right? The original cameras and spectrographs have long since been replaced with new ones that corrected for the misaligned mirror. They're all sitting in various museums around the States.

The real question is why COSTAR was left in there for 7 years doing sweet FA - may as well have taken it out in 2002 when they took the last original camera out.

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When did Pluto turn into Che Guevara?

As Title

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Paris Hilton

Che Guevara a reddish, blushing dwarf?

But I thought he was good with the ladies (not much with anything else, mind).

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Coat

Can we PLEASE stop calling Pluto a dwarf?

Hasn't anyone told the IAU that the more sensitive term is "little planet"? (...although some prefer just referring to it as a "planette"...)

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Silver badge

Planetarily challenged?

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Coat

If Pluto were a country

If Pluto were a country, by surface area it would be slightly smaller than Russia, but still two-thirds bigger than Canada.

So does that make Russia a dwarf planet?

And Canada would have a diameter 77% that of Pluto, somewhere between 2007OR10 and Sedna.

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Gold badge

That picture looks fake

It contains no more than a few dozen pixels worth of information within a circular disc that requires thousands of pixels to render its edge sharply. And at several light-hours distance from the Sun, it can't be gassy clouds making everything fuzzy. I call shenanigans.

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Silver badge

very well observed, hadn't considered it that way

however happened to be looking at wiki page <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto#Appearance_and_surface>

"Current maps have been produced from images from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), which offers the highest resolution currently available, and show considerably more detail,[69] resolving variations several hundred kilometres across, including polar regions and large bright spots.[70] The maps are produced by complex computer processing, which find the best-fit projected maps for the few pixels of the Hubble images"

So you're right, it is a synthetic image derived from almost negligable data, but not deliberate deceit.

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IT Angle

image derived from almost negligable data

cant they just use that software that CSI has - you know, the one where they can take a segment of an image no more than a few pixels big and resolve it into a sharp readable number plate or face or whatever just by pressing a few button?

And another thing: why is all CSI software keyboard driven rather than mouse - noone uses a mouse on that show, not even to marquee an image segment.

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Paris Hilton

But why would you want to see a readable number pluto on Pluto?

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Talk about the Man in the Moon

Is it just me or is that a slightly out of focus picture of a giant Alien head?

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Alien

By Aiur!

That's the face of Executor Artanis, right there

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Re: Dwarf Planet

Dear Pluto,

Quit yer whinging!

Regards,

Titan

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Hear hear!

Sincerely,

Triton

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Silver badge

Oh don't you lot start too!

- Luna

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Hors d'oeuvres the lot of you!

- Sagittarius A*

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Joke

Moons?

Pluto's got fleas?

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Pint

I must confess...

... that I was on the brink of making a Uranus joke, but happily, I didn't!

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Childcatcher

Because they are under copyright,

no more names of celestial bodies in the local group. Unless, of course, AC feels compelled to mention Kim Kardashian. (UGH)

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Facepalm

Did someone mention Kim Kardashian?

Well now you've left yourself open to comments about...

HEAVENLY BODIES!

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Childcatcher

"A sudden star, it shot through liquid air..."

Kim Kardashian, like Belinda in Pope's 'Rape of the Lock', is a new star in the Heavens.

This beautiful sun must be named.

How does Hippo Majoris work for you?

It works for me.

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Anonymous Coward

No Klingons for you

Thank you.

Uranus

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Bronze badge

Romanes eunt domus! (redux)

Local Group, “Majoris” is a comparative adjective declined in the genitive case, so it doesn’t work for me. If you intended “Hippo” to be used in its original Greek sense, then I’d suggest “Caballa Magna” as a euphonic grammatical substitute. “Caballa Major” could be used only if there were also a “Caballa Minor” in the heavens to compare it against. (I am completely unacquainted with the appearance of this new star, and do not intend to search the skies to gaze upon it.)

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Childcatcher

Canis Majoris was bespoke.

So I went for the double entendre contained in 'Hippo.'

Hippo. "The hippopotamus is recognizable by its barrel-shaped torso, enormous mouth and teeth, nearly hairless body, stubby legs and tremendous size. It is the third largest land mammal by weight ." (Wikipedia)

Hippo. The area of female Homo sapien's torso below and contigious to the waist.

When referring to the Kardashians, the correct proper noun is Romany and not Romanes .

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Childcatcher

@ID

"How absolute the knave is! we must speak by the

card, or equivocation will undo us."

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Bronze badge

bespoke = spoken for?

Local Group, I gladly bow to your superior knowledge of Kardashiana, and I wasn’t previously aware of that second definition of “hippo”, so your double entendre was lost on me. But please, for the sake of Johann Bayer, remember that “Majoris” is genitive; the constellation’s name is Canis Major (its nominative form). Proper use of both forms can be seen in a sentence like “Sirius is in Canis Major; in fact, Sirius is α Canis Majoris.”

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Happy

@Irony Deficient

Say what strange motive, Moderator, could compel

A user to use a word and not use it well?

Oh, say what stranger cause, yet unheard

Could make an affable reader reject that word?

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Headmaster

hippo

ἱππο actually means horse

πόταμος means river

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Bronze badge

The Shape of the Flock

What dire Offence from gen’tive Cauſes ſprings,

What mighty Conteſts riſe from trivial Things,

I ſing — This Verſe to L― G―, Muſe! is due;

This, ev’n Miſs Hilton may vouchſafe to view:

Slight is the Subject, but not ſo the Praiſe,

If She inſpire, and He approve my Lays.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hither the Pedants and the Wits infeſt,

To taſte awhile the Pleaſures of a Jeſt;

In various Talk th’inſtructive hours they paſt,

Who ſaved the Day, or changed the Climate laſt:

One ſpeaks the Glory of Verity Stob,

And one deſcribes a charming BOFH* Job.

A third interprets Latin, Greek, and French;

At ev’ry Word a Reader’s Jaws will clench.

Beer, or the Dram, ſupply each Pauſe of Chat,

With whinging, laughing, ogling, and all that.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* — Pronounc’d “boffitch” for Reaſon of Metre.

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To a Poet on the Brink

Sir, you seem too nonchalant

Your witty verse, your cutsie font.

On this point though, we're all agreed,

Genius has pushed you to supersede,

Keats and Shelly, Pope and Milton.

Yet all you can do is dote on Hilton.

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