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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Enough Time to Smoke 8 or 10 Cigars

deluxestogie

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#1
The Slowness of Light

Light travels at only about 670 million miles per hour. The Kuiper Belt object, nicknamed Ultima Thule, that is about to be photographed in high resolution by the New Horizons spacecraft as it flies past on New Years, is nearly 10 times that distance--about 6.5 billion miles from earth. So the (light speed, radio) signals transmitted from New Horizons back to Earth will take a almost 10 hours to get here.

When you think of the size of our tiny solar system--of which Ultima Thule is a member, compared to the staggering size of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and the ineffable "size" of the universe, the speed of light seems like a real slow poke.

Shine a really expensive flashlight at Ultima Thule, and the light takes 10 hours to get there--at the speed of light! That's long enough to sit back on your front porch for a long summer day, with a large pitcher or two of iced tea and a handful of large cigars, and smoke every one of them, in the time for a light beam to make it to Ultima Thule.

Bob
 

deluxestogie

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#2
We finally know that New Horizons successfully flew past Ultima Thule in the wee hours this morning--and survived, steering on auto-pilot. There should be one high-resolution image available on 2 JAN 2019. But all the cameras and instruments have gathers so much data that it will require "about 20 months for New Horizons to send back all of the information it’s gathered on Ultima Thule." [I hope they have an unlimited plan.]

Bob
 
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#6
They did mention that taking the shot was like taking a photo of a flower on the side of the road, out your car window while driving at night.
 

deluxestogie

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#7
And the flash bulb was 6 billion miles away.

Seriously, the potential benefit of the 2 years of data streaming that will come from this brief fly-by is because the surface of Ultima Thule (both of them) is near absolute zero. That suggests that whatever chemicals were part of the potion that formed the solar system may still be there. (The freezing point of hydrogen is nearly 14°C higher than absolute zero.)

Any human visitor would need a good flashlight and a very warm coat.

Bob

EDIT: That means that the third little pig would build his house of hydrogen bricks. But the first little pig's house of straw would easily withstand the huffing and puffing of the wolf. There is absolutely nothing gaseous to either huff or puff.
 
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Charly

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#8
That's some amazing shot ! :D:D
Now we know for sure that the snowman of space exists !

The bad news is that I don't see if he actually smokes something or not... we'll have to wait for more detailed shots !
 
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