Latest Pluto Stories
Scientists have discovered the first Trojan asteroid.
The discovery is expected to shed light on the early stages of solar system formation.
A large group of scientists, including Jay Pasachoff, Bryce Babcock, and Steven Souza at Williams College, reveal the character of one of the most distant objects in the solar system in a scientific paper which appeared in the June 17 issue of the journal Nature.
Zipping through space at nearly a million miles per day, NASA's New Horizons probe is halfway to Pluto and just woke up for the first time in months to look around.
Until now, astronomers have used telescopes to find Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), moon-sized bodies, and obtain their spectra to determine what types of ices are on their surface.
We got some super-creative ideas from people on the NASAJPL Facebook page when we asked this question: "Planning a summer trip? Talk to your friends and family -- if you could design your dream space vacation, where would you go?"
Astronomers are reporting today the discovery of a planetary system way out of tilt, where the orbits of two planets are at a steep angle to each other.
Lonely Pluto floats in the darkness at the edge of our solar system - so far away even the Hubble Space Telescope has trouble making out the details.
According to the first ever infrared analysis of the atmosphere of Neptune's moon Triton, summer is in full swing in its southern hemisphere.
As our telescopes grow more powerful, astronomers are uncovering objects that defy conventional wisdom.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
- A young chicken: also used as a pet name for children.