Friday, June 09, 2006

Planet Pluto Presentation New Horizons Mission

Task: Put together a 20 minute presentation based on Planet Pluto. Special Notes: This was a group project consisting of Alice Vuong and John Bravo.Here is a list of links to various aspects of our project including Powerpoint Presentation as well as various Word Documents:Powerpoint PresentationOur HandoutsNew Horizons CostPluto: A Brief HistoryThe Drama1781: Uranus is officially discovered. Irregularities are noticed in it’s orbit. A search for the cause yielded the discovery of Neptune, a planet large enough to account for its odd orbit.1846: Neptune discoveredNeptune’s orbit is considered ostensibly irregular1905: Lowell theorizes a 9th planet is affecting the orbit of Neptune A search for “Planet-X” continues off and on.1916: Lowell dies. A understudy by the name of Clyde Tombaugh continues search for the theorized planet. Pluto’s Discovery1930: Discovered by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona using a blink comparatorBlink Comparator: Compares two or more pictures of the same area over a specified time period. Computer programs have largely taken the place of this instrument.Oddities and CuriositiesThe name Pluto was intended to be reminiscent of the initials of Percival Lowell. Named After: Roman God of the Underworld, Percival LowellPluto is featured in Futurama as a habitat for penguinsTerrestrial PlanetsSmaller size and massHigher densityMade mostly of rock and metalSolid surfaceFew (if any) moons and no ringsCloser to the Sun (& closer together), with warmer surfaces.Jovian PlanetsLarger size and massLower densityMade mostly of gases (ergo “gas giants”)No solid surfaceRings and many moonsFarther from the Sun (& farther apart), with cool temps at cloud tops.Kuiper Belt ObjectsComets (ice and dust composition)Smaller size and massOrbit between Neptune and about 100 AU from the SunOrbit in the same direction and nearly the same plane as the planets.My Retriever RexComponent: REX (Radio Experiment)Primary Function: Communications ComponentSecondary Functions: Radiometry ModeTasks: Send/Receive information and instructions. Measure Pluto’s nightNew Horizons CostEstimated Cost: $650,000,000Launch Date: January 11th 2006Has a total of 7 instrumentsAlice the InvestigatorComponent: AlicePrimary Function: Spectrometer (“Like a prism, only better.)Tasks: Gather information about Pluto’s Atmosphere and search for an Atmosphere on Charon and other various Kuiper Belt objects. In Memory of RalphJuly 4th, 1998, my dog Ralph dies. Component: RalphPrimary Function: Mapmaker / TelescopeTasks: “Obtain high resolution color maps and surface composition maps of the surfaces of Pluto and Charon.” Other ComponentsPEPSSI: Plasma SensorSWAP: Wind AnalyzerLORRI: Camera, telescopeSDC: Dust counterPower SourcePowered by an RTG (Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator.)What Happens: Radioactive material is placed inside a container surrounded by thermocouples that transfer heat to heat sinks and this generates electricityNuclear Reactors vs. RTGsNuclear Reactors produce far more power than an RTGNuclear Reactors can cause huge explosions!RTGs can't produce chain reactions potentially resulting in a nuclear explosionEnvironmental ConcernsRTG’s pose risk of nuclear contaminationThere is no danger of fatalities in case the container holding the nuclear material were to be destroyed during liftoffNew Horizons must have permission from the U.S. department of energy to use radioactive material to power New HorizonsIt is impossible for an RTG to have a meltodwnHOW TO MAKE PLUTO-POPS*BE THE ENVY OF THE BLOCK, WITH YOUR VERY OWN PLANET IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND!Materials/Ingredients needed:1 box of Blue Raspberry Kool Aid Jammers ™*(*substitute with Blue Tropical Punch if above is unavailable).2 standard ice cube trays1 package of craft sticks (available from Michaels Crafts)6” of clear plastic wrap (2 sheets)1 very sharp paring/steak knifescotch tapeDirections:1. Open package of Kool Aid Jammers ™2. Remove 3 juice pouches3. Insert straw into juice pouch4. Squirt juice into ice cube trays5. Cover with plastic wrap6. Secure with Scotch tape7. Carefully make 1 cm incision in center of each ice cube square with tip of a steak knife.8. Insert craft sticks9. Put in freezer 10. Wait 12 hours.11. ENJOY!!BIBLIOGRAPHYBennett, Jeffrey, Megan Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, and Mark Voit. “Pluto’s basic facts,” The Solar System: The Cosmic Perspective, Third Edition. (San Francisco: Pearson Education, Inc. 2004): pp. 200,201.Briggs, Helen. “*New planet* forces rethink,” BBC News Online. Click Here For Source. March 17, 2004.Buie, Mark. “Yes, Pluto really IS a planet,” Click Here For Source. Feb. 2001. Littman, Mark. “The discovery of Pluto,” Planets Beyond. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1988): pp.71-88.Pasachoff, Jay M. and Donald H. Menzel. “Observing Pluto,” and “Definitions of terms,” Peterson Field Guides: Stars and Planets, Third Edition. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1992): pp. 402, 475-480.Rao, Joe. “Amateurs join the hunt for elusive Pluto,” MSNBC News Online. Click Here For Source. March 11, 2005.Tombaugh, Clyde W. and Patrick Moore. “How Pluto was found,” Out of the Darkness: The Planet Pluto. (Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books. 1980): pp.115-136.“Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the New Horizon’s Mission,” Click Here For Source“NASA’s Pluto fact sheet,” Click Here for Source.“New Horizons mission,” Click Here For Source“Pluto’s Horizon (mission),” Click Here For Source. March 10, 2005. “Pluto (planet),” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Click Here For Source. “The Status of Pluto: A clarification,” IAU Press Release 01/99. February 3, 1999 Click Here For SourceSites I Strongly Reccomend For Research: Homestarrunner: Without this site, this project wouldn't exist.Wikipedia: This is the BEST FREE ENCYCLOPEDIA ever. Go to Pluto and beyond!Google: The world's best search engine.BBC News: This is a great site to compare your reality with that of another. (Cross Reference.) Of particular note are the COUNTRY PROFILES. NASA: Official guide to everything NASA.Nine Planets: This is another useful site for basic planetary information.H2G2: Your guide to life, the universe, and everything. Christine Lavin: This is a link to the Planet X song lyrics.Thanks to everyone who helped make this project a kick rockin success.

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