Posts tagged pluto
The Hubble Space Telescope discovery brings the tally of icy moons orbiting Pluto to five.
Or is it really four?
With the discovery of a fifth moon orbiting Pluto came the inevitable protests about the little world’s planetary status: Can it be called a planet yet?
Sorry Pluto fans, this latest revelation can’t supersize Pluto’s standing in the Planetary Rotary Club, but it does provide a fascinating glimpse at the dwarf planet’s history.
Discovery News chats with Caltech astronomer Mike Brown about the recent discovery of a fifth moon orbiting Pluto:
“It’s a really good reminder that you don’t have to be a planet to be interesting.”
Before the doomsayers hijacked “Planet X” and used it as a phantom (a.k.a. “Nibiru”) to scare people into believing the 2012 doomsday hype, the hunt for Planet X was an exciting astronomical quest to find a hypothetical world in the outermost reaches of the solar system in the early 20th century.
Although dwarf planet Pluto was discovered during the search for Planet X in 1930, apparently ending the quest, there is enduring evidence for the existence of a substantial planet gravitationally shaping the population of minor bodies in the Kuiper belt and beyond. The only problem is, we can’t see it.
On Feb. 18, 1930, American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered the ninth planet, Pluto. As we celebrate the 82nd anniversary of its discovery, we are also reminded about the controversy that still surrounds this little world’s planetary status.
In light of the discovery of Eris in 2005, the following year the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to define what a “planet” actually is. Unfortunately for Pluto, it became a rounding error and joined Eris in the “dwarf planet” club.