Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Forbes.com Posts
This is a very short post to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. It was 17F here in Albuquerque this morning, but warmed up to 40F by mid-afternoon. The sun shined all day, and that’s usually the case in New Mexico.
I have written three posts on Forbes.com, as a contributor. Its been quite a learning experience…..retraining me as a journalist. Links are down below.
But I can’t forget my brief career as a space scientist. especially last night watching the TV program called NOVA. It was entitled “Beyond Pluto” or something like that. A spacecraft called New Horizons blasted past Pluto into the Kuiper belt which is an enormous donut-shaped ring of asteroids. Pluto is perhaps the largest asteroid in the Kuiper belt.
So the spacecraft flew by Pluto and sent back impressive photos of its surface. including mountains of ice 2 miles high. But the ice is made up of methane ice + nitrogen ice — very very cold.
Then the scientists got a bright idea – to look for another asteroid to fly by. They finally found one a tiny one and they locked onto it. They hoped they would get some good pics but the light waves took 6 hours to travel back to earth, so they were in suspense for 6 hours.
Then to much cheering the pics arrived and the asteroid was tiny compared with Pluto. But it was a barbell shape, and they could see it was made up of two small asteroids stuck together. This agreed with a new theory, called the pebble accretion theory, that argues that planets were formed by millions of small objects like this crashing into each other, sticking together, and as gravity pulled in more pebbles, eventually building a Pluto-sized protoplanet. Hard to believe!
Forbes.com links to my posts:
God bless you and your families. And please stay safe.
The Gray Nomad.