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New Horizons Reaches Pluto


and Tonic
Nov 29, 2010
The Flying Mobile Opression fortress
Whelp it had to happen,


There is a New Horizons "Truther" movement.

Forget about Apollo moon landing hoax theories. That is so 20th Century. Gizmodo reported on Wednesday that the “Pluto Truthers” have followed the astonishing images being sent back by NASA’s New Horizons probe and have come to the conclusion that they are faked. After all, if the space agency could fake the entire moon landing, it would be child’s play to fake a robotic probe to the edge of the Solar System.

One conspiracy theorist based the evidence for the fake Pluto mission on the following facts. First, he was able to image Jupiter with his backyard telescope from 400 million miles away. However, he claimed that an image of Pluto from 9 million miles away was a pixelated blur. No news is available explaining the detailed and spectacular pictures of Pluto and its largest moon Charon from closer in.

A variant of the conspiracy theory exists that suggests that the NASA New Horizon mission happened and that it reached Pluto. However, the theory posits, the space agency is covering up the discovery of an alien, UFO base on the former ninth planet. Clearly a bone chilling orb at the edge of the Solar System would be prime real estate for such a facility, the better for the UFOs to make the occasional foray to Earth to abduct humans and perform disgusting experiments on them.

No word also exists as to whether Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, well-known enemy of Pluto, is part of the conspiracy. Clearly the downgrading of Pluto to “dwarf planet” was part of the plot to conceal the true nature of that strange and marvelous world. But, in the meantime, the truth is still out there.

I like this part

"....Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, well-known enemy of Pluto...."

it just reminded me of



The Cassandra
Site Staff
Nov 29, 2008
Some more information. Pluto has a pretty huge atmosphere for its size. Its atmosphere extends 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) from its surface. And Pluto itself has a radius of only 736 miles (1185 kilometers). So for a non-gas giant, this is a pretty huge atmosphere. This is from preliminary measurements from the probe's Alice instrument, which is an onboard spectrometer that breaks the ultraviolet light from sunlight up into its constituent wavelengths and then compares the breaks in the light spectrum against what is expected for normal, unobstructed utlraviolet sunlight and notes any differences it sees, which indicates the light passed through an atmospheric gas. the Instrument on New Horizons has an airglow mode and occulation mode. The airglow mode just uses the light that is reflecting off particles around the planet, and occulation is used when the probe can point directly at the sun, after it passed, to get an accurate read. Here's an image of the results:


What's even more interesting, is that because this atmosphere is so huge, it's actually being stretched by the solar wind into a kind of tail, almost like a comet, but much more diffuse. And this tail is approximately between 48,000 miles (77,000 km) and 68,000 miles (109,000 km) long. Pretty cool stuff. Here's a graphic of that, obviously not to scale:

This little ball of ice really is turning out to be way more interesting than anyone expected.
Apr 14, 2021
This color was taken from a distance of 200,000 km from the dwarf planet. Approximately natural color image created from six LORRI black and white images plus one low resolution color image from a Ralph / MVIC camera. All images for the mosaic were taken in the interval from 15:20 to 15:45 UT - about 3.5 hours after the closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015. The resolution of images from the LORRI camera is 1 km per pixel; The sun illuminates the planet from its other side, being slightly higher from the center.Screenshot_1.png

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