Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wondering a little further out.

Yesterday I talked about Jupiter and since we are on the subject of planets, I thought today I would like to talk about Pluto.  Whether it is a planet, a minor planet, or whatever (I am an old fart so I was always taught that it was planet) it is still part of our solar system.  Now that we know a lot more about it then we did back in the dark ages when I was in school, it has become a strange place.  It's size makes it the smallest planet.  In fact, Ceres (an asteroid or now known as a dwarf planet) and Pluto are about the same size and shape.  Another strange thing about Pluto is that it is about the same size as one of its moons.  That makes me wonder which is the moon and which is the planet.  Oh yeh, the one that the others orbit around would be the planet.  The best picture taken from Earth of Pluto and its moon Charon was taken from the 8-meter Gemini North Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii.  So, I suppose you want to see the picture:

Any of you who have telescopes know that one of the biggest problems of taking long exposure times of celestial targets is the uneven atmospheric turbulence that tends to blur the picture.  The people who took the above photo came up with an unique solution for this problem.  They took a large number of quick "snapshots" to average out the turbulence and then stacked them to create a clear picture of the two objects.

You think that was really great, well it was.  The resolution that they were able to obtain would be about the same as splitting the two headlights of car in Providence, Rhode Island from San Francisco.  Now that kind of puts it in perspective, doesn't it?  You all have a great day here on old Mother Earth (the nicest place in the solar system), you hear?


  1. Plenty of wonderous things out in the big ol' Universe!

    So many things we may never know about!

  2. Say,,,HUH?,,, You lost me somewhere,,,back in that 2nd sentence...lol

  3. HJ, there sure are a lot of things to see and a lot we will never see. Then there are things e will never undetand.

    Trouble, dang, I thought I wrote this fairly well. Sorry, I will try to do better next time.

  4. So, is Pluto a planet or what?

  5. Jill, it is now known as a "minor planet".