New Scientist magazine reports that Pluto may have an ocean.
(Above—A rendering of what might look like on the surface of Pluto. This image comes from the European Southern Observatory.)
“PLUTO could hide a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell. Indeed, other bodies on the solar system’s frigid fringe could also harbour subsurface oceans, and these could provide the conditions to sustain life. Temperatures on Pluto’s surface hover around -230 °C, but researchers have long wondered whether the dwarf planet might boast enough internal heat to sustain a liquid ocean under its icy exterior. Now Guillaume Robuchon and Francis Nimmo at the University of California, Santa Cruz, say there is a good chance it does.”
New Scientist is a great resource. I subscribe to the print edition.
There are other bodies in our Solar System. Jupiter’s moon Europa likely has an ocean.
The New Horizons space probe is currently flying out towards Pluto. Here is the New Horizons web site from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
This mission was launched in 2006 and will reach Pluto in 2015. This is the first mission ever to Pluto.
A great book to learn about this history of the various satellites and missions that humans have blasted off into space beginning with Sputnik in 1957 is Jane’s Space Recognition Guide by Peter Bond.
As the pace of discoveries out in space picks up, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives want to cut funding for the successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. This project would be known as the James Webb Space Telescope.
There has been some dispute about if Pluto is a planet or not. Pluto is not currently classified as a planet. It is now termed as a “dwarf planet.”
I don’t find this dispute very interesting. Here is a National Geographic story on this issue.
Despite the ice exterior, Pluto may have an internal source of warmth. This is yet further proof that no matter how a person may appear or seem on the outside, you never know what they are thinking or how they will act.
I’ve got the day to myself and there are things I plan to accomplish.
1. I’m going to make a blog post. The blog is a daily demand and I sometimes assess if it is worth the effort. I feel it is worth the effort for the moment because it allows me to have a voice in the world. Even when I am out doing other things, the blog is getting traffic. I view it sometimes like that record playing on the Voyager space probes that transmits facts about the Earth as the Voyagers fly off into space. My message is out there.
(Below–Voyager. Here is the Voyager web home at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.)
2. I’m going to have lunch at Brady’s Landing which is located on the Houston Ship Channel.
I enjoy driving down historic Harrisburg Blvd. in Houston. That is how I will get to the Ship Channel. I think about things that once were and how these things are connected to the present day. All things are connected.
The Ship Channel is both organic and man-made. It is the widening and deepening of an existing body of water. You and I are both organic and man-made. We are who we are and we are the creation of the world around us.
Also, the Ship Channel is a narrow body of water that leads out to a wide sea. I find that hopeful. You never know what something will lead if you make an effort.
On my ride, I’ll take my camera and my Flip video camera in case inspiration hits. You never know when you will have a good thought.
(Below–The Houston Ship Channel)
3. I’m going to take a walk in Memorial Park here in Houston. There is a jogging/walking trail in this park. Jogging is not civilized. While I’ve never done any jogging, it looks jarring. All that wear and tear. On the other hand, a nice thoughtful walk will make me a better husband, friend and citizen.
4. I have a bunch of other stuff to do as well. Boring stuff like laundry.
If I sit here all morning with the blog, I will never get to any of those things—So now I’m hitting the road.
Thanks for reading the blog and please have a hopeful, creative, and liberal day.