back to article DOUGHNUT (donut?) and whale FOUND ON PLUTO

NASA has published new photos of the freezeworld Pluto, taken by its Far-travelling New Horizons probe - that prominently feature what appears to be a pareidolic whale and a tasty doughnut (or donut). The New Horizon space podule is closing in for its 14 July flyby of the frosty dwarf planet. The images, taken between 27 June …

  1. hplasm
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    Gnome planet encounter- it's been a long time coming, and excitement is at Xmas levels!

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. ravenviz Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Being a planetary mission scientist is one of great risk, and also of being able to make the best of whatever unexpected events get thrown your way. Many stories in the past of projects being in planning stages for years then for the mission to be destroyed on the launch pad, soon after take-off, or into the mission. Or some aspect not working properly, or as expected; always able to be creative in the face of adversity and extract new science out of seeming shortcomings.

    Great stuff guys, your patience is really appreciated!

  3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
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    Excellent work

    I just love these missions, they put me in mind of the excitement of the Viking, Pioneer, and Voyager missions to planets in my youth (not to mention the Apollo program I followed avidly as a kid). These blurry-but-best-yet images of Pluto are really thrilling. Cannot wait to see the results of the flyby

    1. Chemist

      Re: Excellent work

      "Cannot wait to see the results of the flyby"

      I presume you'd also like to see the Grebulon's ship

  4. Captain DaFt


    That 'doughnut' will be revealed to be a bowl of petunias.

    Kidding aside, this mission has been some amazing work. Can't wait to see what secrets Pluto reveals next.

    1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      Re: Obviously

      "That 'doughnut' will be revealed to be a bowl of petunias."

      I figured it to be the location of the death-ray dish that the Plutonians will use to extract their revenge for being demoted from Planet status.

  5. Stoneshop

    NASA: Doughnut FOUND ON PLUTO – along with a WHALE

    When they get a closer look in a few days they'll find it's not a doughnut but a bowl of petunias.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: NASA: Doughnut FOUND ON PLUTO – along with a WHALE

      "Oh no, not again..."

  6. Anakin

    Last thought before crashing on a planet

    "Ah … ! What’s happening? it thought.

    Er, excuse me, who am I?


    Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life?

    What do I mean by who am I?

    Calm down, get a grip now … oh! this is an interesting sensation, what is it? It’s a sort of … yawning, tingling sensation in my … my … well I suppose I’d better start finding names for things if I want to make any headway in what for the sake of what I shall call an argument I shall call the world, so let’s call it my stomach.

    Good. Ooooh, it’s getting quite strong. And hey, what’s about this whistling roaring sound going past what I’m suddenly going to call my head? Perhaps I can call that … wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do … perhaps I can find a better name for it later when I’ve found out what it’s for. It must be something very important because there certainly seems to be a hell of a lot of it. Hey! What’s this thing? This … let’s call it a tail – yeah, tail. Hey! I can can really thrash it about pretty good can’t I? Wow! Wow! That feels great! Doesn’t seem to achieve very much but I’ll probably find out what it’s for later on. Now – have I built up any coherent picture of things yet?


    Never mind, hey, this is really exciting, so much to find out about, so much to look forward to, I’m quite dizzy with anticipation …

    Or is it the wind?

    There really is a lot of that now isn’t it?

    And wow! Hey! What’s this thing suddenly coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like … ow … ound … round … ground! That’s it! That’s a good name – ground!

    I wonder if it will be friends with me?

    And the rest, after a sudden wet thud, was silence."

    " the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias as it fell was Oh no, not again."

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  7. 0laf

    Finally on July 14 the clearest pictures are seen and the dark and light images resolve to show - "Greedo Shot First"

  8. arctic_haze

    Of course we see in the blots things familiar to our brains. It's the idea behind the Rorschach's test.

    However we still can have a few days of imagination, thinking out funny thing which the blobs might represent. My fun idea is they are Hebrew characters stating "I am who I am". That would be a true shocker, wouldn't it?

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Surely you mean...

      'But I am a planet, honest'

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        To me it looks suspiciously like Arrakis. Just shop in Princess Irulan and you are set.

        "A flyby is a very difficult time. Know then that it is E-minus seven days and counting...."

  9. Raumkraut

    Now go away or I shall overload your CPU a second time

    Now I don't mean to cause surprise and alarm, but judging by the gigantic equatorial croissant on the right of the image, I suspect the French got there first.

  10. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    Ralph wanted to send Alice to the moon...

    ...but I guess he never specified which one.

    Ah, the good old days, when domestic violence was great comedy...

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Ralph wanted to send Alice to the moon...

        > unbridled capitalism

        Where? I would like to go to that country, it would not be on the way to socio-fascist perdition. Please.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ralph wanted to send Alice to the moon...

          I got the joke but in the interest of not spoiling the discussion of such a positive science story I am withdrawing my digressing rant.

  11. cdilla

    Beaten to the "bowl of petunias" comment not once, not twice, but three times out of just ten comments.

    As was Douglas Adams, I'm a militant atheist, so I know he isn't looking down and smiling, but still, it would be nice if he were.

    Now, where's my towel.

    1. adnim

      Not looking down...

      but in a few 10's of thousand years he may well be part of your great x 10^3 grandchildren.

      Nature the great recycler

  12. Anonymous Coward

    "angry make-up science"

    This is why I read the Reg. The articles are long on technical detail compared to the popular press (plus there are often commentards who can fill in the gaps where they get things wrong or leave out details) but the lines like that which give me a good laugh are what really keep me coming back! Have a pint, you earned it!

  13. jonfr

    Data rate from Pluto

    The data rate from Pluto is around 1kbps (they can get it up to 2 - 3kbps for a short while), it means it is going to take at minimum of two weeks to get all the Pluto flyby data to Earth.

    More details can be found here,

    1. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Data rate from Pluto

      I should see what mobile company this space probe uses - that's a much better signal than I can get.

  14. thx1138v2

    120,000 * X / 6.16666666666666666666666666666667

    "...120,000 of our largest terrestrial cetaceans." It's hard for me to grasp these weird measurements. Anyone know how many Smoots that is?

  15. Fnorder

    It's a

    sperm whale.... cf.

  16. Ralph the Wonder Llama


    "Ralph has a wife, Alice"

    Lies. All lies.

  17. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

    You'll find out that's not a doughnut, it's a flask, as seen from the top.

    A flask for what, you may ask? why, to carry brains, of course!

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