Another science imponderable.

Hi there kiddies!

I’m alive another day, and so are you!  So let’s celebrate!  Well, even though I am in a great mood today, doesn’t mean I don’t have questions that need answering.  Once again, I say that science has a habit of making us think that theory is fact.  So, here is another question that I hope makes you question life.

How can the Hubble Space Telescope continually show us brilliant, detailed,and spectacular photos of some galaxies as far away as 450 million light years away, but can’t seem to come up with a decent picture of Pluto?!

hubble-galaxy.jpg     hubble-pluto.gif

I mean.. come on!!  450 Million light years away.. versus, a rock in our own backyard?  Some one explain it to me!!

That’s like being easily capable of full court, blindfolded left handed, behind the back, hook shots, but would NEVER make a lay-up.  Ok, I know I just described Shaq… but that’s not important now.  It just appears to me that either the great Hubble shots are false, or they aren’t showing us the real pics of Pluto.

Fight the power!  Don’t trust anyone over 40… wait… I’m over 40… nevermind.  Love people!



~ by stewman1 on December 17, 2007.

17 Responses to “Another science imponderable.”

  1. Pluto is just not photogenic. You know how it is…ask Nicky Hilton.

  2. I never knew you were such a science geek.
    Instead of Capricorn One, I’m going to start calling you Capricorn Stew.

    Love you,

  3. […] Pluto is the Bratty Kid of the Universe? Posted on December 17, 2007 by Aunt B. The Stewman asks an important question: How can the Hubble Space Telescope continually show us brilliant, […]

  4. Hey, Shaq can make lay-ups! He can’t make free throws, though…

    As for Pluto, I have a theory. As we all know, science is all about good reports in peer-reviewed journals. I think Pluto is just a prank gone way too far out of hand. Someone submits some blurry pictures to Astronomy Today, makes up some coordinates, and because nobody else wants to look dumb, everyone agrees it’s there. Kind of like the metric system.

  5. Well, they’ve already shown they’re discriminating against Pluto by taking away its “planet” status, so maybe they hate it so much they’re not going to show us good pictures of it, either! “The man” strikes again!

  6. Yeah, but, you gotta admit there’s some great ones of Mickey, and Goofy, though.

  7. […] noes! Another science nerd to add to my already-bursting feed reader! Stewman makes a good point: How can the Hubble Space Telescope continually show us brilliant, detailed,and spectacular photos […]

  8. Hi Stew,

    I answered this over at TinyCatPants, but in retrospect, hell, I shoulda just said it over here! So I will:

    Galaxies put out energy in the form of visible light, and that’s what shows up on film. Pluto is only visible from the light reflected off it by the sun which is 3.66 billion miles away. So not a lot of light gets reflected off of it.

    It’s kind of like all those Nascar fans with their disposable cameras who expect their flash to illuminate Dale jr.’s car as it goes around a turn a half mile away at 200 mph.

    Call me Mr. Wizard.


  10. Stew – my guess would be that Pluto is in the same plane as Earth, so that may lead to obstructions and nearby light (aka the Sun and reflected Sunlight from planets).

    The wonderful pictures you show from Hubble are of galaxies and and groups of stars, which are much larger than Pluto. Try searching for pictures of planets outside of our Solar System and see what you get. I’d imagine those images would be pretty hazy. Hope this helps!

  11. In fact, after 450 million years, what will exist there?

  12. “Mr. Wizard” is right. Those faraway galaxies actually emit light. They’re made of stars and the like. The only way we can see Pluto is from the sun’s light reflecting off of it.

    Interesting question though. So, to fit your analogy, it’s more like being able to make that fantastic full-court shot you’re talking about, but not being able to make a lay-up because you don’t have a ball to shoot with. The “ball” being the light reflecting back from Pluto.

  13. Seems like I’m always a day late and dollar short. Oh, well… Ceeelcee, aka Mr. Wizard, said it first. Humongous amounts of radiated light vs. tiny amount of reflected light. Our flash gun doesn’t reach as far as where Pluto is supposed to be. When they demoted Pluto from planet to “rock lost in space” they may have been prepping us to ease the final blow, that Pluto was really a smudge left by a moth that banged into the telescope lens.

  14. CeeElCee: You’re Mr. Wizard.

    There. I called you that. Are you happy?

  15. Love it. We recently ‘posted’ an image of subatomic particles fired through a neutron accelerator…(See Haiku for You)…so elegant, so exquisite, so mysterious…Seems we’re somehow caught perpetually somewhere in-between the Great All Mighty and the Great All Mini…Cheers, c

  16. Because galaxies emit not just visible light, but emit visible light with the force of several thousand billion suns.

    And not even puny little yellow pissant suns like the really bright one you see in the sky (during summer), but suns that are measured in terms of several hundred of our puny yellow human sun, each of which emits several thousand times the heat and light emitted by our own sun.

    Pluto, by contrast is a large snowball, probably put there by calvin and Hobbes. And not even a very big snowball at that.

    It actually sounds sillier a question than it really is, because one of the candidates for dark matter is in fact cold dark objects like pluto – or more accurately brown dwarfs like Jupiter and Saturn – which actually means that, while the pictures of distant galaxies are very pretty and appear to be very clear, it’s believed by most astronomers and astrophysicists not to mention some cosmologists (who eat babies) that the vast majority of all galaxies are not actually visible, including our own.

    Unless Newton got something wrong that is.

  17. “I say that science has a habit of making us think that theory is fact.”
    A theory in science is a heavily tested explanation for a set of related observations. A theory is more important than facts, it explains facts.

    As for Pluto, I’m guessing cause it doesn’t reflect enough light.

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