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Latest Pluto Stories

6add2939a1bbb296b9d436fa378a49db1
2007-02-28 15:45:00

LAUREL, Md. -- 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. The fastest spacecraft ever launched was within a million and a half miles of Jupiter early Wednesday, giving scientists a close-up look at the giant gaseous planet and its moons. Mission managers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. waited for the first signals from...

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2007-02-27 06:35:00

When New Horizons, NASA's Pluto-bound spacecraft, swings by Jupiter on Feb. 28th, it will pick up a few souvenirs along the way "“ photos, data, and an extra 9000 miles per hour courtesy of the largest planet in our solar system. New Horizons is already the fastest spacecraft ever to leave Earth, but it needs even more speed to catch Pluto, which is receding from the sun. Winter is coming to Pluto, and researchers want New Horizons to arrive before Pluto's thin atmosphere freezes and...

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2007-01-19 09:20:00

WASHINGTON - 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 fastest spacecraft ever launched, New Horizons will make its closest pass to Jupiter on Feb. 28, 2007. Jupiter's gravity will accelerate New Horizons away from the sun by an additional 9,000 miles per hour, pushing it past 52,000 mph and hurling it toward a pass...

fde2fe5053b39cce8c84ff8b5aeb99a01
2006-11-29 08:25:25

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. The Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) took the pictures during an optical navigation test on Sept. 21-24, and stored them on the spacecraft's data recorder until their recent transmission back to Earth. Seen at a distance of about 4.2 billion kilometers (2.6 billion miles) from the spacecraft, Pluto is little more...

dfe506bd533683270b107f8c734497d8
2006-11-02 15:10:00

Scientists from Williams College and the University of Arizona will observe Mercury in front of Venus from vantage points on earthbound mountains and with orbiting spacecraft on Wednesday. Nov. 8. Jay Pasachoff of Williams College (Williamstown, Massachusetts) and Glenn Schneider of the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona) will be perched at the University of Hawaii's solar observatory, at the rim of the giant Haleakala crater at an altitude of 10,000 feet on the...

12921e80abdc695e4217a24b1f6eadc41
2006-09-21 09:40:24

A study of Pluto's bright frosts suggests that the way the planet cools down is rapid and disorganised. The results were presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Berlin. Pluto's surface is bright because its atmosphere periodically condenses onto the surface. Theory suggested that, as Pluto cools, the traces of methane should condense first, followed by nitrogen ice as Pluto's surface grows colder.  The study showed two surprising results: that most of Pluto's nitrogen...

013907ba81e5993b57dde0ad7de26a231
2006-09-20 06:30:00

Cambridge, MA - Scientists using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered and directly imaged a small brown dwarf star, 50 times the mass of Jupiter, orbiting with a planet around a Sun-like star. Such an arrangement has never before been seen but might be common, the scientists say, leading to solar systems with distorted planetary orbits. Kevin Luhman of Penn State University is the lead author on a report describing this discovery, which will be published in The Astrophysical...

2006-09-01 15:30:00

By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of U.S. scientists have challenged a recent decision by an international astronomy group to strip Pluto of its planetary status with a petition rejecting its definition of what constitutes a planet. The astronomical insurrection shows that debate is likely to continue over the status of the icy rock at the edge of the solar system that was considered the ninth planet until a vote last week by the International Astronomical Union. Petition...

2006-08-30 03:10:00

By Mike Collett-White VENICE -- British composer Colin Matthews has more reason than most to mourn the demotion of Pluto from planet to mere "dwarf planet." In 2000 he released "Pluto," an addition to Gustav Holst's famous seven-part orchestral suite "The Planets," which in 1917 included seven of eight officially recognized planets at the time. According to Matthews, Earth was not a part of the composition because it has no astrological significance, while Pluto was discovered four years...

2006-08-30 03:10:00

By Mike Collett-White VENICE (Reuters) - British composer Colin Matthews has more reason than most to mourn the demotion of Pluto from planet to mere "dwarf planet." In 2000 he released "Pluto," an addition to Gustav Holst's famous seven-part orchestral suite "The Planets," which in 1917 included seven of eight officially recognized planets at the time. According to Matthews, Earth was not a part of the composition because it has no astrological significance, while Pluto was discovered four...


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
jument
  • A beast of burden; also, a beast in general.
'Jument' ultimately comes from the Latin 'jugum,' yoke.
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