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Latest Pluto Stories

28126361ac99b3df31a42e368028731b1
2010-12-13 07:35:00

Scientists have an ingenious explanation for the strange ridge belting Saturn's outermost moon, Iapetus For centuries, people wondered how the leopard got its spots. The consensus is pretty solid that evolution played a major role. But it's only been five years since the arrival of high-resolution Cassini Mission images of Saturn's bizarre moon Iapetus that the international planetary community has pondered the unique walnut shape of the large (735 kilometer radius) body, considered by many...

2010-12-03 13:45:00

HAMPTON, Va., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- You say you want a revolution in planetary science? (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) On Tuesday, Dec. 7, at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, James Green, director, NASA Planetary Science will present "The Revolution in Planetary Science: New Worlds, New Discoveries," at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Green will review what NASA has learned on its journey through the Solar System and its...

97e9808b403b4f480ccd15beffda308c1
2010-11-24 14:30:57

New NASA images support findings that one of Jupiter's stripes that "disappeared" last spring is now showing signs of a comeback. These new observations will help scientists better understand the interaction between Jupiter's winds and cloud chemistry. Earlier this year, amateur astronomers noticed that a longstanding dark-brown stripe, known as the South Equatorial Belt, just south of Jupiter's equator, had turned white. In early November, amateur astronomer Christopher Go of Cebu City,...

281c9b2995e56a5e2e777cb7fe2fc89d1
2010-10-28 06:15:00

The sun isn't kind to objects without atmospheres. Bombarded by solar radiation, the surfaces of some comets, for example, tend to be a charred carbon-black. But the 1,000 objects so far directly imaged in the Kuiper Belt "“ that swath of icy bodies circling around the sun with Pluto "“ appear to be a wide range of colors: red, blue, and white. With scant observations to go on "“ most of the Kuiper belt objects are just a single pixel of light to the Hubble Space Telescope...

ef2302d30b23e7123a2ab5a839e3dae6
2010-10-13 06:40:00

A University of Colorado at Boulder space dust counter designed, tested and operated by students that is flying aboard NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto now holds the record for the most distant working dust detector ever to travel through space. The instrument on the New Horizons mission -- officially named the Venetia Burney Student Dust Counter, or SDC, after an 11-year-old English girl who named Pluto more than 75 years ago -- reached a distance of 1.67 billion miles from Earth on Oct....

13bdcbd3d0bcd9f88c93c2b8e90fc2621
2010-09-23 14:05:00

New supercomputer simulations tracking the interactions of thousands of dust grains show what the solar system might look like to alien astronomers searching for planets. The models also provide a glimpse of how this view might have changed as our planetary system matured. "The planets may be too dim to detect directly, but aliens studying the solar system could easily determine the presence of Neptune -- its gravity carves a little gap in the dust," said Marc Kuchner, an astrophysicist at...

2010-09-23 10:20:00

GREENBELT, Md., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New supercomputer simulations tracking the interactions of thousands of dust grains show what the solar system might look like to alien astronomers searching for planets. The models also provide a glimpse of how this view might have changed as our planetary system matured. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081007/38461LOGO) "The planets may be too dim to detect...

46e663d87d83b9b3de8b5ec70d8963c41
2010-09-13 10:55:00

Beyond the orbit of Neptune reside countless icy rocks known as trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). One of the biggest, Pluto, is classified as a dwarf planet. The region also supplies us with comets such as famous Comet Halley. Most TNOs are small and receive little sunlight, making them faint and difficult to spot. Now, astronomers using clever techniques to cull the data archives of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have added 14 new TNOs to the catalog. Their method promises to turn up hundreds...

2010-09-01 08:23:00

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Tails were wagging at Walt Disney World Resort today when Best Friends Pet Care opened the doors to its new, luxury pet resort. Dennis Dolan, CEO of Best Friends Pet Care, and Phil Bernard, vice president of Walt Disney World Operating Participants, were joined by Mickey Mouse's favorite dog Pluto to welcome the first guests. The one-of-a-kind pet resort offers 17,000 square feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000 square feet of...

24c341f5ffcb4871906a1d82577ea58f1
2010-08-12 20:12:02

There are places in space where the gravitational tug between a planet and the Sun balance out, allowing other smaller bodies to remain stable. These places are called Lagrangian points. So-called Trojan asteroids have been found in some of these stable spots near Jupiter and Neptune. Trojans share their planet's orbit and help astronomers understand how the planets formed and how the solar system evolved. Now Scott Sheppard at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism...


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
omphalos
  • The navel or umbilicus.
  • In Greek archaeology: A central boss, as on a shield, a bowl, etc.
  • A sacred stone in the temple of Apollo at Delphi, believed by the Greeks to mark the 'navel' or exact center-point of the earth.
'Omphalos' comes from the ancient Greek.
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