10 Cool Things I Clicked On Today (0x2)


Seeing as we’ve already established a tradition, I’ll get to right down to business.

1. One probe does not simply walk into Mordor.

It first has to reveal what a gem Pluto really is. But its satellite Charon is no eyesore either. Pictured below is the largest of Pluto’s five moons and the dark spot visible on its south polar region is called the Mordor Macula. It’s only been informally called that but I pray to the Valar they keep the name. That way Peter Jackson’s great-grandson can shoot a Lord of the Rings remake in the most proper of locations.


Credit: NASA/JPL. Click to enlarge.

The surface of Charon is far smoother than Pluto’s which means it is geologically active on a larger scale. Or maybe because Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld but the moon Charon wasn’t named after Hades’ ferryman of dead souls, like you’d expect. James Christy, the astronomer who discovered Charon wanted a scientific-sounding version of “Char” – his wife Charlene’s nickname. He later found out about the coincidence and was presumably proud of himself.

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