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Pictures from Hubble

Posted by: RussJav - Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:12 am
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Pictures from Hubble 

Should NASA Fund a pluto mission?
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Pictures from Hubble 
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Post Pictures from Hubble   Posted on: Wed Dec 13, 2006 3:12 am
I am new to this forum and relativly new to the space community and I was wondering if any of you can help me out with a question: Why is it that we have pictures of crab nebulas billions of lightyears away, but we don't have any clear pictures of Pluto :?:


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:21 am
!) NASA is running a mission to Pluto, New Horizons, it launched in January 2006, and will fly past Pluto in 2015.

2) Pluto maybe a lot closer than your average Nebula, but it is very, very, very much smaller. For example:

Pluto is about 40 AU from Hubble and 0.000016 AU diameter
Horsehead Nebula is about 95,000,000 AU from Hubble and 220,000 AU wide

So the Horsehead Nebula is 2,375,000 times further away, but 13,750,000,000 times bigger.

If Hubble can resolve 10 pixels across Pluto it can resolve about 58,000 across the Horsehead nebula. Those seemingly fine details you can see are really huge, bigger than Jupiter's Orbit.

[Edit] AU is Astronomical Unit, the distance of the Earth from the Sun, about 150,000,000 kilometers.


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:29 am
Or:

"The Universe is big. Really big. Mind-bogglingly overwhelmingly big. No, bigger than you're thinking. Bigger than that, too." :lol:


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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:49 pm
well obviously they dont compare to my pictures! :?
maybe its because if pluto was the size of a golf ball, an entire nebula would be like earth. They are huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge! and if you think a lot of nebulas have star system forming in them, and pluto is a tiny planet.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:56 pm
Well the others have got it. Think of it this way. You are on vacation in Switzerland and take a picture of the Matterhorn. Your picture is clear and shows lots of interesting detail. Now there is another tourist standing 10 meters in front of you with a descriptive brochure. You can see the tourist in your picture but cannot read his brochure no matter how much you enlarge the picture because it just isn't clear enough. So you might ask, how can I see all that interesting detail on the mountain many kilometers away but I can't even read the brochure 10 meters from the camera? OK, you wouldn't ask that, because it is obvious. But it is only obvious because you already know what you are seeing. You know the smallest VISIBLE detail on the mountain is much larger than then printing on the nearby brochure; but it may not be so obvious with the crab nebula. The crab nebula is the mountain and the brochure is Pluto. The nebula looks interesting even though you cannot see detail in it as small as Pluto, but Pluto does not look interesting at all because you can't see the much smaller details on it even though it is closer. It is closer, but not close enough compared to the size of the detail you would like to see.


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