Pluto Rocks !!!!


I’m still reeling from the ridiculous week we just had, combating a ridiculous piece of skulduggery from our Government.

What a waste of decent people’s time. But it is done, for now. And done well, for now, methinks.

I missed my rendezvous with the Pluto New Horizons team in Washington DC because I thought the threat to our wildlife (actually ALL our wildlife, as it turns out) in the UK was more of a priority. But now I get to go and celebrate with the NH team who have just successfully pulled off a nine-year project to rendezvous with that little PLANET at the edge of the classical Solar System. I’m well excited. I’m ready to meet lots of great space scientists that I’ve previously only known through E-mails – and sift through data with them. Yes, I feel very privileged. In these things, like my dear ol’ adopted uncle, Patrick Moore, I’m an enthusiastic amateur, since nobody is paying me ! But I’m well aware millions would pay dearly for such a journey … fulfilling many schoolboy dreams.

As an amateur image processor, this is what I put together in 3-D on the plane … a fanciful fabrication, but based on the latest NH pics, and I think it’s the first time it’s been done. A speculative look at what it would have been like to be standing near the New Horizons probe as it flashed past Pluto and its companion Charon towards deep Kuiper Belt country. Yes, if you’re not familiar with 3-D Free-viewing, please find an OWL or other stereo viewer and enjoy this ! That’s reddish pink Pluto in the foreground with its now familiar giant heart-shaped feature, and Charon behind, showing its massive chasm and brown rocky terrain. NOBODY has ever seen Pluto like this. And it will be 10 years at least til anybody gets anything better, of course, because it takes that amount of time to get there. OK – please don’t write to me and tell me the orientation of the bodies is wrong. I know ! But it’s not far from reality, if you were a giant with eyes a million miles apart.

Pluto and Charon