As you know, July 14 - the date of the meeting and the station New Horizons Pluto. Tomorrow the machine will come to a dwarf planet in the 12, 5 thousand kilometers. It is, without exaggeration, a historic event that will allow scientists to obtain a maximum at the moment of information on Pluto and its moon Charon.
Specialists will be able to tell if the planet atmosphere, a little better understanding of the geology of Pluto. According to Team New Horizons, the transfer of all information received during rapprochement will take about 4, 5 hours. By the way, there are map of Pluto
, created by NASA.
Already, there are quite a massive amount of information about the planetoid and its moons. For example, received July 10 photographs show complex geological structures on the surface of Pluto. A photograph taken at a distance of about 5, 4 million, is quite clearly visible ridge stretching for about 1,600 km. And this is - the certificate once occurred geologic activity on Pluto.
Earlier, NASA laid out color image of Pluto, which is also visible non-uniform surface of the planet.
And yet there is a clear picture of Pluto and Charon, which shows that not only the structure but also the color of the surface of the planet and the satellite are very different.
Now scientists are inclined to believe that Pluto and Charon, despite the billions of years spent together, were formed in various areas of space. Rather, Charon was "caught" Pluto, and since then, revolves around its "big brother". The surface of Charon presumably covered water ice and ammonia, plus minerals (50% / 50% ice and rock outcrops to the surface). Pluto's surface is covered with frozen nitrogen, carbon monoxide and some other compounds in the solid state.
Photo of Pluto, obtained July 11
Photo Charon received July 11
As for Charon, it is a very interesting object: planetoid only twice the size of Pluto, a record for a solar system, the ratio of the size of the satellite and the "mother" of the planet. On the surface of Charon can also see some signs of geological activity. For example, a dark area at the north pole of Charon, with a diameter of 300 km. According to geologists, the surface of Pluto is quite easy to learn, because the vast areas not covered by ice.
By the way, on the right side marked impact craters and fault, which is longer and deeper (several kilometers) than the Grand Canyon.
We are waiting for news, New Horizons!