So I went to our monthly geeky sessions at the Exploreum at the SM Mall of Asia and the topic was all about the Pluto Flyby mission.
I am not a planetary scientist, and unlike particle physics(which I eternally love), this large scale event might have slipped from my prodding. So here are what surprises me:
- Pluto has craters. Should I have expected it since it is residing at the brethren of the Kuiper Belts?
- Pluto's already thin atmosphere is even thinner than previously expected. It's, in fact, 700 times thinner. Should I have also expected it because Pluto is primarily made up of Nitrogen, Methane and complex Hydrocarbons, perhaps, causing greenhouse effect on its atmospheric layers?
- Pluto's south polar region is darker than the north, which were previously thought to be uniform and boring!!!
- Non-uniformity of the Pluto's surface gave tantalizing hints of the possible activities underground. Should I have also expected this since a combination of thin atmosphere, no magnetosphere, methane possibly forming into liquid methane underground, may have excited carbon particles and consequently heats up the layer underneath?
- Pluto is not a dog
- That Pluto is nothing but a second rate, trying hard "trying-to-be-a-planet" object may never change despite emotional erosion brought by the excitement and hype of the flyby mission
New Horizon just ace us around 6% of the entire data collection, so keep abreast of updates and more wave of surprises to follow.