back to article The ice must flow: Dunes of frozen gas spotted on alien dwarf

Dunes of methane ice grains have been discovered on Pluto after scientists studied snaps taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. That's according to a paper published in the journal Science today. New Horizons, launched over a decade ago in 2006, has allowed boffins to conduct the most detailed study of the largest dwarf …

Silver badge

Bring it on!

Are we going to have the usual fight about what Pluto is?

As far as I can tell it's not even a dwarf planet, just a crappy Kuiper belt object and not special at all.

There I said it. Come at me.

12
4
Silver badge

Re: Bring it on!

Not really bothered on the 'Save Pluto' front, but I do remember, years ago, reading that, although a ninth planet had been predicted from planertary perturbation (gravitic influence on orbital motion not accounted for by observed masses) for many years, Pluto did not appear to have either the mass or the orbit to account for these effects.

Essentially, there was an undiscovered planetary mass (or lots of small masses in a relatively small region), which was the real 'planet nine', and whatever Pluto might be, it certainly wasn't that.

Does anyone else remember that, or have I been carrying around my own personal Mandela effect for all these years?

12
0

Re: Bring it on!

Since this article was mostly about grains of sand, maybe it was a Mandala effect? :)

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Bring it on!

>Are we going to have the usual fight about what Pluto is?

It's a cartoon character dog not to be confused with Bluto who is Popeye's nemesis, problem solved.

11
0
Trollface

Re: Bring it on!

Then the hidden 9th planet is likely called Goofy... also a dog but takes Pluto out on a leash for walks(orbits).

7
0
Silver badge

Re: Bring it on!

I think we can all agree Pluto* ain't the kind of place to raise your kids....

[* with apologies in advance to Mars and the Taupin-John co-orbital system]

3
0

Re: Bring it on!

No, you are right. What you may have forgotten (or just not been aware of) is that NASA was able to make very accurate measurements of the mass of Uranus and Neptune when Voyager-2 made it's close approaches to them. They discovered that Neptune's mass was significantly different from the first estimate made by astronomers (I think it was about 4% heavier); when they dropped that into the orbital motion calculations the unknown perturbation disappeared.

6
0

Re: Bring it on!

Interesting : ".... lots of small masses in a relatively small region... which was the real 'planet nine'..."

After some Goggling I found this: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1603.09008.pdf

2
0
SVV
Silver badge

Ecological catastrophe due to Clangers intensive farming practices

Sadly they are the remnants of the rear end methane emissions of a too-large Sky Moo herd.

1
0
Thumb Up

Re: Ecological catastrophe due to Clangers intensive farming practices

So not the rear emissions of an enormous mutant star-goat then.

5
0
SVV
Silver badge

Re: Ecological catastrophe due to Clangers intensive farming practices

No, whilst Minter's theories are expressed eloquently through the medium of computer games, they cannot hope to match the authoratative stature of a BBC Michael Palin travel documentary.

2
0
Coat

Re: Ecological catastrophe due to Clangers intensive farming practices

"too-large Sky Moo herd"

"the rear emissions of an enormous mutant star-goat"

Dunno which it is, but something smells really bad about both those theories.

I'll get my coat, it's the one airing out on the balcony.

0
0
Coat

Size Matters

Pluto is the second biggest dwarf planet in the solar system, the biggest being Eris, because size matters

6
0
Silver badge

Re: Size Matters

Current reckoning is that Eris has a greater mass than Pluto but Pluto is a little larger, and therefore less dense, than Eris.

4
0
Silver badge
Alien

I just hope...

That when we do eventualy find the Ninth Planet. We will name it Persephone and, more commony named Rupert after the discover's pet Parrort.

1
1
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Back to the topic in hand...

Brilliant, brilliant science and technology.

1
0

Where there are dunes surely there must be giant worms!

7
0
Silver badge

Giant, icy worms and a warrior-like band of free men. And a prophet. And a cross-generational conspiracy. Damn, that was a good book.

3
0

Damn, that was a good book ^H^H^H^H trilogy ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H give-up on how many.

FTFY.

3
0

Pluto is cool!

1
0

Uranus is cold.

0
0

There's a few ways of warming that up.

0
0

The less I know about what you purport have knowledge of, the better.

1
0

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018