Pluto's equator is covered in skyscraper-sized methane ice blades


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/16/plutos-equator-is-covered-in.html


#2

Ice spikes biome.


#3

That would make a great storm glass.


#4

Flash Gordon and the Penitentes of Pluto!


#5


#6

I was kind of given the impression of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe Jotunheim.


#7

Liked for the dolly!


#8

image


#9

Say I’m not a planet again, and you’re going to get cut.


#10

Tell me I can purchase this wine bottle opener somewhere?


#11

All the cool minor-planets are wearing ice blades this year.


#12

Pluto’s the new place to hang out.


#13

Pluto…or Krypton? We report, you decide!


#14

That’s no wine bottle opener…


#15

it’s sublime.


#16

Oh, I know. I have seen the movie–that is why I want to buy the bottle opener!


#17

When Pluto was in the news I was wondering just how bright the sun really is there. According to my arithmetic it’s a little over 5 f-stops darker on Pluto. I think.

Distance from sun to earth: 1 astronomical unit

Distance from sun to pluto: 39.5 AU

2 AU away from sun - 1 f-stop dimmer
4 AU is -2 EV
8 AU is -3 EV
16 AU is -4 EV
32 AU -s -5 EV


#18

Makes me wonder if this could be used for lithobraking. The methane blades would provide a comparatively soft surface to crash in to, much like a pile of cardboard boxes.


#19

Given that these may take millions or billions of years to form, and the likelihood that they’re extremely delicate, I hope no one ever tries lithobreaking against Pluto’s titanic penitentes. Given that Pluto’s surface gravity is about a .083 gees, I doubt anyone ever will have any serious need to.

You could just about read a book under the noonday sun on Pluto. Bear in mind, however, that there is almost no atmosphere to scatter the light.


#20

I was thinking about hitting them at just under solar escape velocity, but you are right, we should leave the place as we found it if possible.