Social Media Sidebar

Announcement

Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

 

Peter Drucker

The Winds of Pluto: Modeling the Atmosphere

RATE THIS! +0
Posted in Science on 2nd May, 2012 03:39 AM by AlexMuller

Pluto no longer hangs out with the solar system’s cool kids, the planets, but astronomers studying this remote world continue to discover its surprising, planet-like dynamism.

 

Researchers have hacked simple climate-modeling algorithms for Mars to simulate the winds of Pluto’s fleeting atmosphere.

 


Pluto's winds. Courtesy Angela Zalucha and Amanda Gulbis
The new computer simulations not only suggest the dwarf planet’s winds may exceed 225 miles per hour, but also that they whisk around the ice ball in a clockwise direction — right in step with Pluto’s rotation.

 

“It’s surprising that the winds are so fast. We think it has this weak little atmosphere, but apparently it can do a lot,” said Angela Zalucha, a planetary scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

 

Zalucha and Amanda Gulbis, a planetary scientist at MIT, wrote a study about their new model of Pluto’s atmosphere published April 10 in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

 

It’s the first time anyone has attempted to model atmospheric circulation on the small, icy world. And while Pluto orbits the sun from about 3.7 billion miles away, the ever-improving model may eventually help scientists studying our home planet’s winds.

 

“We need to study all of the atmospheres we can get our hands on,” Zalucha said. “Successfully modeling simple atmospheres can help us understand more complex atmospheres, including the Earth’s.”

 

Mysterious Ice Ball
When budding astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 discovered Pluto, it was a tiny, moving speck in photographs taken weeks apart. Decades passed and we still knew comparatively little about the body.

 

Even as the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft zoomed through the solar system in the 1970s, they missed Pluto in favor of studying Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus, adding little to no knowledge about Pluto. During the spacecraft’s flights, however, a lone astronomer discovered Pluto’s moon Charon. The new object helped researchers narrow Pluto’s estimated mass to about one-sixth that of our moon.

 

It wasn’t until 1988 that astronomers discovered irrefutable signals of Pluto’s atmospheric veil. A team of researchers used a telescope to spy on Pluto as it passed in front of stars. The starlight passed through atmospheric gases, betraying their presence as they hugged the object’s -382-degree-Fahrenheit surface.

 

As telescopes improved, so did information about Pluto. Decades of distant observations, with the high-power help of the Hubble telescope and computer simulations, have even led astronomers to create fuzzy maps of the dwarf planet.

 



Read original article » Back to category

Comments

Author: Guest
Posted: 2013-11-21
+0
Wow. Thats some tragedy I must say.Why don't you just say your sceret man? In a coffee meeting. Dherai bhayo yo poem soem. Reply


 

Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2016-05-26 13:29:38
    China plans to expand artificial intelligence products.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2016-05-26 12:50:15
    Red dwarf exoplanets not as habitable as once believed..read more
    Posted in Hardware on 2016-05-26 13:01:29
    E Ink shows its true colors with new display..read more
    Posted in Science on 2016-05-26 12:40:31
    Wound-plugging XStat syringe saves its first life on the.....read more
    Posted in Science on 2016-05-26 12:32:42
    Exxon shareholders take 'small step forward' on climate..read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 Downloads..read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into new.....read more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs,.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for commercial.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short Sighted..read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, but.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in about.....read more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target mitochondria..read more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    Poverty marks a gene, predicting depression..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Genes linked to effects of mood and stress on longevity.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Study shows how air pollution fosters heart disease..read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Close encounters of a tidal kind could lead to cracks on icy.....read more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Internet addiction, school burnout feed into each other..read more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Username:
Password:
Remember me
or

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Username:
Email:
Password:
Verify password:
Remember me