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Comment Pluto's Glacier (Score 0) 33 33

The rate at which pictures are being released by the project are pathetic. I don't want to hear how low the data rate is from Pluto. Paranoid scientists are witholding dozens or hundreds of them to keep from being scoped. Spunik Planum is a glacier. Of what material, who knows? CO, N2, or some weird mixture. You can see that the region covers the darker terrain by the many embayment relationships at the meeting of terrains at its edge. The patterned ground is also a giveaway, but who can explain the large size of the patterns? What is the dark stuff? Organic gunk, not unlike light crude oil or LNG at fantastically low temperature. In processed approach images you can see the path that gas sublimating from the glacier takes as it sublimates and migrates to the pluto dark side from the sub solar latitude. It faintly stains the terrain. My guess is that glaciers like Sputnik Planum accumulate on the dark side during Pluto's pronounced winters, as the erode from the light side. They seem to be 100's of meters if not kilometers thick. The complex seasons produced by Pluto's elliptical orbit and high inclination surely disrupt the surface asymmetrically. Pluto is in southern summer and just passed perihelion. The south cap should be near its minimum extent. Pluto is a freaky place. Release more pictures greedy scientists!

Comment Clear embayment features (Score -1) 98 98

The spots are clear embayment features. The dark/light transition seems to follow the countour of topography. This suggests that the stuff was liquid or saturated sediment, like the dark regions on Titan. We may be looking at lake deposits on Pluto.

Comment Should be called (Score -1) 41 41


The first thing everyone does when they learn OpenGL is texture map a map image in rectangular coordinates to a 3d sphere. Have fun.

/* Apply a texture image, a planetary map in a simple cylindrical
   projection in RGB format*/
static void
texture_map (const char *fname)
  GLubyte *image;
  GLint width, height;
  GLenum format;

  /* What are the valid sizes for the texture image? */
  /* glGetIntegerv (GL_MAX_TEXTURE_SIZE) */
  image = LoadRGBImage (fname, &width, &height, &format);

  /* check image size to see if suitable as texmap */
  info ("Texture image: width = %d, height = %d, format = %x\n",
     width, height, format);

  /* texture map is ok to apply */
  glPixelStorei (GL_UNPACK_ALIGNMENT, 1);
  glTexImage2D (GL_TEXTURE_2D, 0, GL_RGB, width, height, 0,
        format, GL_UNSIGNED_BYTE, image);
  glEnable (GL_TEXTURE_2D);

static void
solid_sphere (GLdouble radius, GLint slices, GLint stacks)
  glEnable (GL_CULL_FACE);
  glCullFace (GL_BACK);

  GLUquadricObj *obj = gluNewQuadric();
  gluQuadricDrawStyle (obj, GLU_FILL);
  gluQuadricNormals (obj, GLU_SMOOTH);
  gluQuadricTexture (obj, GL_TRUE);

  glNewList (Sphere, GL_COMPILE);
  gluSphere (obj, radius, slices, stacks);
  glEndList ();

define_globe (const char *teximage, float radius)
  texture_map (teximage);
  solid_sphere (radius, 36, 18);

draw_globe ()
  glEnable (GL_LIGHTING);    /* in case they aren't already */
  glEnable (GL_TEXTURE_2D);
  glCallList (Sphere);

Comment The indolent Greeks (Score -1) 1307 1307

Yes, Greece owes you. The Greeks lied and stabbed Europe in the back. Isn't it interesting and freighting that a society will destroy their own banking system to preserve pensions that pensioners did not earn? It is a sobering lesson for all western democracies that make such absurd promises to their citizens. The best thing for everyone is for the Greeks to walk away from their bonds, reissue the Drachma, and start anew. Greek travel will be a great deal. They can rebuild their economy on that basis. As for the pensioners. Enjoy your Drachmas. They won't be worth the paper they are printed on.

Sometimes, too long is too long. - Joe Crowe