Latest Pluto Stories

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...

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,...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

2010-07-30 07:08:45

The discovery is expected to shed light on the early stages of solar system formation. Astronomers have imaged a very young brown dwarf, or failed star, in a tight orbit around a young nearby sun-like star. An international team led by University of Hawaii astronomers Beth Biller and Michael Liu with help from University of Arizona astronomer Laird Close and UA graduate students Eric Nielsen, Jared Males and Andy Skemer made the rare find using the Near-Infrared Coronagraphic Imager, or NICI,...

Latest Pluto Reference Libraries

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...

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...

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...

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...

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
  • The call or cry of a bird or other animal to its mate or its young.
'Call-note' is newer than 'bird-call,' which originally referred to 'an instrument for imitating the note of birds' but now also refers to 'the song or cry of a bird.'