website statistics

What new Apple device you are getting?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate This)

Pluto, formal designation 134340 Pluto, is the second-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the tenth-largest body observed directly orbiting the Sun. Originally classified as a planet, Pluto is now considered the largest member of a distinct population called the Kuiper belt. This planet was discovered 80 years ago today, and astronomers are still arguing over what it is.

The oddball world, downgraded from planet to dwarf planet status in 2006 and then later reclassified, is really out there. Scientists aren’t sure exactly what Pluto’s made of, how it formed, or why it orbits so oddly compared to the eight primary planets. And there are at least two camps of astronomers when it comes to defining Pluto. Some just think of it as a planet, others call it a dwarf planet or a plutoid.

While NASA has a spacecraft en route to Pluto and slated to make close-up images in 2015, the best images of Pluto so far, taken this year by the Hubble Space Telescope, are mere smudges.

Pluto’s Discovery

The hunt for Pluto began in 1905 when Percival Lowell (of Martian Canal infamy) hypothesized about the possibility of a Planet X in the outer solar system.

Lowell died before Pluto was discovered. Clyde Tombaugh found it on Feb. 18, 1930 in a concerted scan of the sky. Tombaugh compared two photographs taken at the Lowell Observatory and noted the object’s movement against the background of stars.

Most of Pluto’s orbit is out beyond that of Neptune. But the path is oblong, so Pluto spends part of its 248-year orbit – the time it takes to make one circle around the Sun – inside the track of Neptune.

Pluto’s path is also extremely inclined, by 17.1 degrees, to the main plane of the solar system where the other planets travel.

Asteroids also circle the Sun in the solar system’s main plane. So do some comets. But many comets, like Pluto, have highly inclined orbits. This similarity, plus Pluto’s small size – smaller than Earth’s Moon – led to its demotion.

Mysterious Pluto

Studies in 2003 showed that despite an almost nonexistent atmosphere, Pluto has wind and seasons and appears to have recently gone through a phase of global warming.

The leading theory for the formation of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, is a wild one: A nascent Pluto was struck by another Pluto-sized object. Imagine a glancing blow and a lot of cosmic Silly Putty getting stretched and repacked into new spheres with new rotations. Observational evidence for this collision theory remain thin, however.

Charon is much bigger than any other moon in relation to the size of its host planet, further muddying Pluto’s status. Some astronomers think of the setup as a double planet.

Cyber Attack Attempted From China Schools

Sprint To Introduce 4G Smartphone By Mid-Year
You can also press the left/right arrow key on your keyboard to go to previous/next post
  On February 21, 2010(5 years, 7 months ago.)

You May Also Like:

Recent Products

Buy Now | Compare  
Buy Now | Compare  
Buy Now | Compare  
Buy Now | Compare  

What Do You Think?

Loading Facebook Comments ...

FTC Disclosure: Some of the links of this website are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.

Recent Search

Recent Tutorials

Now you can set custom ringtones to individual skype contacts on android. It's easy to setup. Take a look.
Now you can install Microsoft's Cortana on Android devices. It's pretty easy to install. Follow the steps below, check the screenshot.
Want to install Android lollipop 5.0.2 on pc? This post is for you. It's pretty easy to install and run. Just take a look.
With our partnership with Mode Media, we just got a jump start. Here is our first story of hand picked curated content on Android Tutorials.
Want to change theme on android ? We will show you how to change theme on android. It will makes your phone looks like new and smart.
You can record your screen on android very easily. No root Required. All you have to need a pc and USB cable. Let's find out.
A simple tutorial on how-to block a phone number on Android device, without an external app. Its pretty easy and straight-forward. Take a look.
Here we will show how to take Screenshot on your Apple Watch.
For too many people, the realization that they need to back up their photos and videos only comes when they misplace or break their smartphones and lose everything. Here we a report on possible solution and best tools.
Not sure if you are aware that your Wi-Fi Router Or Modem could be hacked too. Here we found a quick tips, how to check if your Router or Modem is hacked.
Close You Have To Login
Login With »Login With TwitterLogin With Facebook