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Swift
2009-Dec-07, 06:46 PM
From Sciencenews.org (http://sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/50424/title/Plutos_cloud_components_verified_)

Clouds in Pluto’s atmosphere may be composed of tiny frozen spherules of nitrogen or carbon monoxide, rather than snowflake-like clumps of tiny particles as previous research had suggested, new analyses suggest.

Information about Pluto’s atmosphere is, like that atmosphere itself, exceedingly thin because no space probes have yet visited there. So most speculations about the dwarf planet’s atmosphere stem from analyses of light passing through that tenuous shroud on the rare occasions when Pluto passes in front of a distant star, says Pascal Rannou, a planetary scientist at the University of Reims in France.

The dwarf planet’s tenuous atmosphere contains suspended particles, not just gas. Previous research suggested that those aerosols are about 200 nanometers across — larger than expected and therefore probably raspberry-like clumps or snowflake-like aggregates of tiny particles that had frozen together when they collided aloft, he notes.

But a new model by Rannou and university colleague Georges Durry, reported online and in an upcoming Journal of Geophysical Research–Planets, hints that individual particles in the clouds may simply be single spherical droplets of frozen nitrogen and carbon monoxide.

peteshimmon
2009-Dec-07, 09:52 PM
Well if Pluto is still an assymetrical body
settling into a spherical shape as the 1988
occultation seemed to suggest, then volitiles
and particles would continually be released to
form this temporary atmosphere.

Umm...is that probe nearly there yet?

laurele
2009-Dec-08, 02:26 AM
The probe, New Horizons, will fly by Pluto in July 2015 although it will begin to send back images of the planet beginning in January 2015.

Hungry4info
2009-Dec-08, 09:31 AM
...of the planet...
< obligatory shunning >

pghnative
2009-Dec-08, 01:20 PM
The probe, New Horizons, will fly by Pluto in July 2015 although it will begin to send back images of the planet beginning in January 2015.
bummer, --- two and a half years too late:whistle:

George
2009-Dec-08, 08:57 PM
:) My calendar says otherwise, but is youran calander mayan? ;)