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Posts Tagged ‘Pluto’

Best left alone?

Best left alone?

I mean, it’s just asking for trouble:

And speaking of Pluto’s features, NASA scientists are now giving unofficial names to some of the things they’ve spotted — names they can submit to the International Astronomical Union for official approval. They’re sticking with the trend of underworld creatures and gods — Pluto, after all, was the Roman god of the underworld — and have tentatively named a previously observed dark, whale-shaped splotch (just to the left of the broken heart) after “Cthulhu,” the dark deity invented by author H.P. Lovecraft. Described as part man, part dragon, and part octopus, Cthulhu has gained something of a cult following in the Internet age.

Okay, so Cthulhu is supposed to be trapped under the Pacific, where he lies dreaming, but what if R’lyeh was really located on a dark plane on a dark planet at the far edge of the Solar System, and Lovecraft was trying to spare us the sanity-blasting truth? And what if this awakens him… er…. it?

Yeah. We’re doomed.

PS: Let us enjoy this moment while forgiving the article’s author his apparently weak knowledge of all things Cthulhuoid. First, he’s never been described as “part dragon,” though he does have wings as I recall, and an octopoidal head. But he is definitely not a god. Nyarlathotep, Azathoth, and Hastur are gods. The Big C is “merely” a Great Old One, himself a servant of the gods.

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Some weird facts about absolute zero. Here’s one that really surprised me:

What is the coldest place in the solar system?

The lowest temperature ever measured in the solar system was on the Moon. Last year, NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter measured temperatures as low as −240°C in permanently shadowed craters near the lunar south pole. That’s around 10 degrees colder than temperatures measured on Pluto so far. Brrrrrrrrr.

Poor Pluto. It always gets picked on. First it doesn’t get to be a real planet anymore, and now it’s not even the coldest place in the solar system. I half expect it to wander off to some remote nebula to pout for a few thousand years.

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