Latest Pluto Stories
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has teamed up with the W.M. Keck Observatory to precisely measure the mass of Eris, the largest member of a new class of dwarf planets in our solar system. Eris is 1.27 times the mass of Pluto, formerly the largest member of the Kuiper Belt of icy objects beyond Neptune.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft has provided new data on the Jupiter system, stunning scientists with never-before-seen perspectives of the giant planet's atmosphere, rings, moons and magnetosphere.
For the first time, water has been identified in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet.
New research shows that the current shape a major Kuiper-belt object is the result of a massive impact that occurred about the same time the Earth was forming.
Andy Cheng has seen it all. Alien vistas are old hat to him. But even he was amazed when he laid eyes on this photo of Io's Tvashtar volcano, taken Feb. 28th by the New Horizons spacecraft.
NASA's New Horizon's space probe was pointed toward Pluto and the frozen, sunless reaches of the solar system on a nine-year journey after getting a gravity boost Wednesday from Jupiter.
When New Horizons, NASA's Pluto-bound spacecraft, swings by Jupiter on Feb. 28th, it will pick up a few souvenirs along the way â€“ photos, data, and an extra 9000 miles per hour courtesy of the largest planet in our solar system.
NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is on the doorstep of the solar system's largest planet. The spacecraft will study and swing past Jupiter, increasing speed on its voyage toward Pluto, the Kuiper Belt and beyond.
The New Horizons team got a faint glimpse of the mission's distant, main planetary target when one of the spacecraft's telescopic cameras spotted Pluto for the first time.
Scientists will observe Mercury in front of Venus from vantage points on earthbound mountains and with orbiting spacecraft.
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 pivoted catch designed to fall into a notch on a ratchet wheel so as to allow movement in only one direction (e.g. on a windlass or in a clock mechanism), or alternatively to move the wheel in one direction.