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Latest Pluto Stories

5cff585bf81c004ea1858c3e878228751
2006-08-26 04:54:05

If you woke up Thursday morning and sensed something was different about the world around you, you're absolutely right. Pluto is no longer a planet. The International Astronomical Union, wrapping up its meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, has resolved one of the most hotly-debated topics in the cosmos by approving a specific definition that gives our solar system eight planets, instead of the nine most of us grew up memorizing. NASA has already visited all eight planets that retain their...

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2006-08-25 11:26:43

WASHINGTON (AP) - "My Very Excellent Mother Just Sent Us Nine Pizzas." That and variations on it are the way millions of people learned to remember the names of the planets in the solar system - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. The problem is that an international convention of astronomers decreed Thursday that tiny Pluto no longer meets the definition of a planet. What a way to spoil a good mnemonic. Now how will students learn the planets? Some...

2006-08-24 15:47:31

By Donna Smith WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pluto's lost status disappointed some schoolchildren and had space museum curators scrambling but in the words of one teenager, "It's one less planet to memorize." Quinn Huebner, 15, was visiting the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum on Thursday when he and his family from Mazomanie, Wisconsin, learned international astronomers had decided Pluto was no longer a planet. His sister Grace, 11, also voiced relief. Had Pluto...

2006-08-24 15:23:32

By Martin Roberts TORONTO (Reuters) - Scientists may have demoted Pluto to the rank of a "dwarf planet" on Thursday but astrologers foretell no major changes in the way they read the heavens because of the move. Russell Grant, a British astrologer and best-selling author, said Pluto's planetary demotion was not a surprise after years of discussion and he would not change the charts he uses for his clients or millions of visitors to his Web site. "I personally am shaken not stirred,"...

2006-08-24 16:26:00

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight major planets in the solar system. With one vote, toys and models of the solar system became instantly obsolete, forcing teachers and publishers to scramble to update textbooks and lessons used in classrooms for decades. "Pluto is dead," Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology bluntly told...

2006-08-24 13:30:14

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight major planets in the solar system. With one vote, toys and models of the solar system became instantly obsolete, forcing teachers and publishers to scramble to update textbooks and lessons used in classrooms for decades. "Pluto is dead," Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology bluntly told...

2006-08-24 09:53:13

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight classical planets in the solar system. Discovered in 1930, Pluto has traditionally been considered the ninth planet, and furthest from the sun, in the solar system. However, the definition of a planet approved after a heated debate among some 2,500 scientists from the International Astronomical Union...

2006-08-24 14:59:37

By Bill Trott WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The American astronomer who put Pluto on the solar system map would have accepted its demotion to non-planet status because he was a good scientist, his widow said on Thursday. "Clyde said, 'Well, it's there. You can do what you want with it,"' Patricia Tombaugh, 94, said from her home in Las Cruces, New Mexico, after the International Astronomical Union downgraded husband Clyde Tombaugh's crowning achievement. Tombaugh was 24 years old and...

2006-08-24 08:36:10

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Scientists from around the world on Thursday approved a new definition of a planet, downgrading Pluto's status to leave just eight classical planets. After a heated debate, 2,500 scientists and astronomers voted at the International Astronomers Union General Assembly that Pluto, which has been called a planet since being discovered in 1930, would be put into a category of planets called "dwarf planets."

2006-08-22 09:30:00

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE -- In coming up with the definition of a planet, astronomers hoped to bring order to the way we look at solar systems. Instead, they created a big bang of their own. A committee formed by the International Astronomers Union (IAU) has proposed that to be called a planet, a celestial body must be in orbit around a star while not itself being a star. It also must be large enough in mass for its own gravity to pull it into a nearly spherical shape. The new definition -- the...


Latest Pluto Reference Libraries

6_07e7808819d3a0e0b1e9459490122f2b2
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Planet -- A planet is a body of considerable mass that orbits a star and that doesn't produce energy through nuclear fusion. Until recently, only nine were known (all of them in our own Solar system). As of the end of 2002 over 100 are known, with all of the new discoveries being extrasolar planets. Astronomers often call asteroids minor planets, and call the larger planetary bodies (those which are commonly called planets) major planets. Planets within the solar system can be...

6_79b1bf0245952aa2e5b479867b1c322b2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Asteroid -- An asteroid, also called a minor planet or planetoid, is a member of a group of small, planet-like bodies that are part of our solar system. They are believed to be remnants of the interstellar clouds, nebula, that were not incorporated into planets during the formation of the solar system. The largest asteroid in the inner solar system is Ceres with a diameter of 1003 km. It also was the first to be discovered, by Giuseppe Piazzi on January 1, 1801. Nowadays, over 9000...

4_fa986c4947be6caa1fdc9a322408b0882
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Quaoar -- Quaoar ("kwah-oh-ahr", /kwA o Ar/) is a Trans-Neptunian object circling the Sun in the Kuiper belt, discovered in 2002 by astronomers Chad Trujillo and Mike Brown at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Quaoar is estimated to have a diameter of about 1,280 kilometres, which would make it the largest Solar System object discovered since Pluto and, indeed, the largest known minor planet. Larger than all the asteroids put together, it is about one...

4_6800f2092e75e4b2d9813609957b23e52
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Kuiper Belt -- The Kuiper belt is an area of the solar system extending outwards from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to 50 AU. The largest of the objects in the Kuiper belt are the planet Pluto and its moon Charon. A new Kuiper belt object, currently called 2001 KX76, has been found that is about the size of Charon, and larger than Ceres. Another such object, Quaoar, discovered in 2002, is half the size of Pluto. Other known Kuiper belt objects are progressively smaller. The exact...

4_f6c7da539e4ce5858ae8aafa252e5d7e2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Charon -- Charon is the only known satellite of Pluto. Charon was discovered by astronomer James Christy in 1978 using photographic plates which showed a bulge moving around Pluto. Christy named it after the Greek mythological figure Charon but pronounced it differently. The "ch" at the beginning of the moon's name is soft so it sounds like "Sharon," after the astronomer's wife Charlene, nicknamed Char, which both have soft ch sounds. The mythological figure's name is...

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Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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