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Old 01-09-2019, 08:36 PM
 
5,438 posts, read 2,821,793 times
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The probe transmits data at only one kilobit per second — by comparison, the average broadband download speed in the UK is 46.2 megabits per second, 46,200 times faster than New Horizons.
https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/ne...-ultima-thule/

Hope it’s an unlimited plan.
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Old 01-09-2019, 08:38 PM
 
5,438 posts, read 2,821,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Apparently the spacecraft is too close to the Sun right now for data download. They'll start getting more data on Jan. 10.
You mean we’re too close to the sun? The spacecraft is about as far from the sun as a spacecraft can go. Maybe our orbit isn’t in good alignment with the spacecraft at the moment.
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Old 01-09-2019, 11:01 PM
 
5,203 posts, read 8,204,697 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Milky Way Resident View Post
I was under the impression that dwarf planets still needed to be large enough for gravity to have rounded them.

The term dwarf planet was only created in 2006 by the IAU to redefine objects like Pluto because the alternative would have increased the total number of planets in the Solar System by a considerable margin. That’s one of the reasons not everyone is on board with the new classifications as they operate under an exclusive principle.

The new distinction is as follows.

A planet meets the following requirements:

1. Orbits a star
2. Is large enough to be spherical in shape
3. Has cleared its orbit

Pluto, Eris satisfy the first two conditions whereas Ultima Thule only meets the first. I guess you could say that there is some overlap with Ceres which is both the largest asteroid and the smallest dwarf planet.
I think you're right, as is a previous poster, so I stand corrected. Thanks. There's always something new to learn.

Yes, I know about the IAU's proclamation in redefining objects in the solar system, which resulted in Pluto being demoted, not to everyone's satisfaction. In part, I had referred to the Euler Diagram categorizing objects in the solar system. The diagram seems to show that some objects overlap others. In any case, the diagram shows the primary category as Dwarf Planets which contain groups of Minor Planets, Trans-Neptunian Objects, Plutoids, etc. Pluto orbits the Sun, albeit on an extremely eccentric orbit and is large enough to have a spherical shape. But it fails to be a planet in that it has not cleared the area around it's orbit. Pluto is at the fringe of the Kuiper Belt where there is lots of debris.
https://www.reddit.com/r/space/comme...xpost_rcharts/
https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/...diagram-of-the

Interestingly, although the primary category is Dwarf Planets, that term encompasses Minor Planets, Trans-Neptunian Planets and Plutoids. They're all under the classification of Dwarf Planets. To confuse things even more, Pluto is given a Minor Planet Designation: "134340 Pluto", but also saying Pluto is a Dwarf Planet. Regardless, I think we can assume that Ultima Thule is classified as a Minor Planet in that it's greatly smaller than Pluto. The classification system can be pretty confusing.

As for Ultima Thule only meeting the first condition, I would disagree. What it appears to be is a combination of two fairly spherical objects that have fused or somewhat merged together, thus giving it a "snowman" look. If they are reasonably spherical, then that would give them the second condition. Whether it's somewhat spherical appearance is just a coincidence or not is hard to say. We can agree that its size (about the size of a city) is greatly smaller than Pluto. But to be fair, not all Trans-Neptunian objects (or objects in the Kuiper Belt) are dwarf or minor planets. Some are much smaller (asteroids, comets, pebbles).
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Seattle
2,257 posts, read 483,431 times
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Originally Posted by biggunsmallbrains View Post
You mean we’re too close to the sun? The spacecraft is about as far from the sun as a spacecraft can go. Maybe our orbit isn’t in good alignment with the spacecraft at the moment.
"Close" in the angular sense. I.e. the angular separation is too small to separate the tiny signal from the Sun's emission.
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