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(Discover)   Pluto's atmosphere has collapsed, no doubt due to COVID-19   (discovermagazine.com) divider line
    More: Strange, Planet, Earth, Pluto's atmosphere, Mars, Pluto, Pluto passes, Sputnik Planitia, Atmosphere  
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1184 clicks; posted to Geek » on 26 May 2020 at 4:03 PM (7 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



29 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-05-26 2:27:21 PM  
It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere,
I'm all alone, more or less.
Let me fly, far away from here,
Fun, fun, fun, In the sun, sun, sun
 
2020-05-26 4:08:49 PM  
This link is just as good as the last time it was greenlit, 5 days ago.

https://www.fark.com/comments/1082066​0​/Plutos-atmosphere-just-collapsed-Chic​ken-Little-suffocates
 
2020-05-26 4:08:54 PM  
In other news, Pluto had an atmosphere.
 
2020-05-26 4:10:46 PM  

whither_apophis: It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere,
I'm all alone, more or less.
Let me fly, far away from here,
Fun, fun, fun, In the sun, sun, sun


I have you farkied as "hot for Pete Trantor's sister"
 
2020-05-26 4:36:22 PM  
Nothing worse than a dog fart.
 
2020-05-26 4:37:09 PM  
Fun fact: Since its discovery in 1930 Pluto has yet to complete even one half of one revolution around the sun. It orbits every 248 years and we've only known of its existence for 110. It will complete one official Plutonian year by 2178.

So as far as we know this could just be a seasonal thing.
 
2020-05-26 4:38:25 PM  

Ishkur: Fun fact: Since its discovery in 1930 Pluto has yet to complete even one half of one revolution around the sun. It orbits every 248 years and we've only known of its existence for 110 90. It will complete one official Plutonian year by 2178.


FTFM
 
2020-05-26 4:45:20 PM  
 
2020-05-26 5:24:29 PM  

Pants full of macaroni!!: In other news, Pluto had an atmosphere.


I've been in nightclubs in Soho that can't make that claim. Good for Pluto.
 
2020-05-26 5:40:34 PM  
Does this happen every few years, or did we just happen to be looking when this super-rare cosmic event happened?  On a geological time scale, it seems unlikely we would be here to look for it.
 
2020-05-26 6:00:25 PM  
Its because Earthlings do not consider Pluto a planet.  That news took a while to reach Pluto, and this week all the Pluto-nians collectively gasped in horror.
 
2020-05-26 6:19:15 PM  

Dave and the Mission: Does this happen every few years, or did we just happen to be looking when this super-rare cosmic event happened?  On a geological time scale, it seems unlikely we would be here to look for it.


it happens once every few centuries, and we've had Hubble for let's say a tenth of that period. we got lucky, but not insanely lucky or anything. four heads in a row
 
2020-05-26 6:24:06 PM  
Pluto's self-esteem has been awful since it lost planet status. I'm not surprised it's breaking down.
 
2020-05-26 6:33:42 PM  
Its just holding its breath until we make it a planet again.
 
2020-05-26 6:39:09 PM  
Chin up subby, at least no one is reporting on the collapse of Uranus.
 
2020-05-26 6:53:58 PM  
Keep an eye out for Kzanol/Greenberg.
 
2020-05-26 7:10:53 PM  
It was funny last time, but now I'm getting worried.
 
2020-05-26 7:12:43 PM  

brizzle365: Chin up subby, at least no one is reporting on the collapse of Uranus.


Gorgor about to post a bunch of pics of anal prolapse
 
2020-05-26 10:14:27 PM  
Like all other non-planets, Pluto has no atmosphere to begin with, but it is nice that it collapses on schedule.
 
2020-05-26 11:01:42 PM  

pup.socket: Like all other non-planets, Pluto has no atmosphere to begin with, but it is nice that it collapses on schedule.


Titan raises its eyebrow.
 
2020-05-26 11:14:46 PM  

Algebrat: pup.socket: Like all other non-planets, Pluto has no atmosphere to begin with, but it is nice that it collapses on schedule.

Titan raises its eyebrow.


Titan is only an order of magnitude larger by mass.
 
2020-05-27 12:43:09 AM  

pup.socket: Algebrat: pup.socket: Like all other non-planets, Pluto has no atmosphere to begin with, but it is nice that it collapses on schedule.

Titan raises its eyebrow.

Titan is only an order of magnitude larger by mass.


Some non-planets have significant atmospheres. Some planets don't. Just sayin'.
 
2020-05-27 2:31:05 AM  

brizzle365: Chin up subby, at least no one is reporting on the collapse of Uranus.


With all that gas pressure it's more at risk of explosive episodes and leakage.
 
2020-05-27 6:56:55 AM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
Looks fine to me.
 
2020-05-27 8:32:40 AM  
I bet it comes and goes depending on what parts of the surface are getting face blasted by the sun
 
2020-05-27 9:08:36 AM  

Dave and the Mission: Does this happen every few years, or did we just happen to be looking when this super-rare cosmic event happened?  On a geological time scale, it seems unlikely we would be here to look for it.


Pluto is on its way to aphelion, it's farthest distance from the Sun.  The farther away it goes, the less heat it receives, and so the atmosphere freezes and falls to the surface.  It's got a very eccentric orbit with a perihelion of 29 AU, and aphelion of 49 AU*.  One AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun, approximately 93 million miles.

This is the same kind of thing that happens with comets.  When they get closer to the Sun, the volatile frozen ices on their surface sublimate and create that long "tail" comets are known for, because there isn't enough gravity to keep them from being blown off by the solar wind.

Pluto is big enough, and far enough, that it mostly retains those ices that sublimate and become its atmosphere.   Some of it does get blown away, though.


*It's also significantly inclined compared to the other planets at 17 degrees off the ecliptic.
 
2020-05-27 9:31:52 AM  
Depen

OldJames: I bet it comes and goes depending on what parts of the surface are getting face blasted by the sun


At its furthest from the sun, Pluto's temperature is -387 Fahrenheit but when closest to the sun it is -369.  So not exactly blasting.  They say it is enough to sublimate the frozen nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide into an atmosphere.  I checked the freezing and sublimation points for these gases and they are higher than Pluto's temps, so something else must be going on here.
 
2020-05-27 9:53:12 AM  
OK, I finally read TFA, and I'm kind of pissed that they used the "collapsed" to describe a 20% reduction.

"Collapse" implies a complete and total failure, falling completely to the ground.   Yeah, it's not a precise term, but the implication is something more than just a 20% reduction.

Granted, it's a minor thing, but it smacks of clickbait.
 
2020-05-27 10:52:43 AM  

dittybopper: OK, I finally read TFA, and I'm kind of pissed that they used the "collapsed" to describe a 20% reduction.

"Collapse" implies a complete and total failure, falling completely to the ground.   Yeah, it's not a precise term, but the implication is something more than just a 20% reduction.

Granted, it's a minor thing, but it smacks of clickbait.


I interpreted the headline as a (near) 100% reduction too. Newsing is hard. I don't even call it journalism anymore.
 
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