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(Discover)   Pluto's atmosphere just collapsed. Chicken Little suffocates   (discovermagazine.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Planet, Earth, Mars, Pluto's atmosphere, Pluto, Atmosphere, Pluto passes, Sputnik Planitia  
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1429 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 May 2020 at 10:53 AM (2 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-21 10:19:07 AM  
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2020-05-21 11:09:58 AM  
Too much nyborg.
 
2020-05-21 11:28:46 AM  
It's already 1/100000 that of Earth's. And it's dropped by 20%.

So I'll keep my excitement under wraps.
 
2020-05-21 11:54:27 AM  
Reporting for KCBS, Sue Flay.
 
2020-05-21 1:05:52 PM  
did i miss something -- does this mean a 20% drop in atmosphere is a thing that can happen and it can be regained at some point?
what is this mechanism?
 
2020-05-21 1:28:43 PM  

keithgabryelski: did i miss something -- does this mean a 20% drop in atmosphere is a thing that can happen and it can be regained at some point?
what is this mechanism?


It's a function of the cold. Pluto is so far away that when it travels away from the sun its atmosphere literally freezes and falls. Ever seen snow fall without clouds in the sky? Same idea. Since the atmosphere has fallen as snow, there's no air pressure left.

When it travels towards sun, the ice sublimates (goes from solid to gas skipping the liquid step) and the atmosphere is restored, simultaneously restoring the pressure.

They are surprised because the drop is bigger than they expect (which to me just sounds like there was a tipping point, kinda how like all of a sudden that one day in fall ALL the farking leaves drop). And it sounds spectacular in a headline, but it's a completely normal function of Pluto's orbit.
 
2020-05-21 1:58:34 PM  

keithgabryelski: did i miss something -- does this mean a 20% drop in atmosphere is a thing that can happen and it can be regained at some point?
what is this mechanism?


Something to do with temperature I would guess. Pluto only has a thin atmosphere when it is close enough to the sun for the atmosphere not to be frozen solid. I think it is currently moving away from the sun in its elliptical orbit.
 
2020-05-21 2:01:19 PM  

Peki: keithgabryelski: did i miss something -- does this mean a 20% drop in atmosphere is a thing that can happen and it can be regained at some point?
what is this mechanism?

It's a function of the cold. Pluto is so far away that when it travels away from the sun its atmosphere literally freezes and falls. Ever seen snow fall without clouds in the sky? Same idea. Since the atmosphere has fallen as snow, there's no air pressure left.

When it travels towards sun, the ice sublimates (goes from solid to gas skipping the liquid step) and the atmosphere is restored, simultaneously restoring the pressure.

They are surprised because the drop is bigger than they expect (which to me just sounds like there was a tipping point, kinda how like all of a sudden that one day in fall ALL the farking leaves drop). And it sounds spectacular in a headline, but it's a completely normal function of Pluto's orbit.


Only beat me by 30 minutes with a better explanation.

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2020-05-21 5:25:37 PM  

keithgabryelski: did i miss something -- does this mean a 20% drop in atmosphere is a thing that can happen and it can be regained at some point?
what is this mechanism?


The temperature crossed a threshold where one of the gasses in the atmosphere freezes out. Raise that temperature above that point and the gas will be a gas again.
 
2020-05-21 7:44:08 PM  

big pig peaches: keithgabryelski: did i miss something -- does this mean a 20% drop in atmosphere is a thing that can happen and it can be regained at some point?
what is this mechanism?

Something to do with temperature I would guess. Pluto only has a thin atmosphere when it is close enough to the sun for the atmosphere not to be frozen solid. I think it is currently moving away from the sun in its elliptical orbit.


Don't worry, we'll get another chance to see it next year  (in Pluto time, that's 250 years for you and me).
 
2020-05-22 9:43:37 AM  

big pig peaches: keithgabryelski: did i miss something -- does this mean a 20% drop in atmosphere is a thing that can happen and it can be regained at some point?
what is this mechanism?

Something to do with temperature I would guess. Pluto only has a thin atmosphere when it is close enough to the sun for the atmosphere not to be frozen solid. I think it is currently moving away from the sun in its elliptical orbit.


Great!  Global warming isn't isolated to Dirt

\we're a plague in the solar system!
 
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