SSS Pluto - Charon; the largest, and Nix and Hydra; the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Solar System Summary: Pluto ASTR 1101 Pluto Pluto is the “planet” that is starting a lot of controversy these days among the scientific community. There are debates all of the time trying to decide if poor little Pluto is a planet. Pluto has a diameter of about 2274 km km. This is equal to 0.2 Earth diameters. Pluto has a mass of 1.27 x10^22 kg or 0.002 Earth masses. The density of Pluto is about 2.0 gm/cm^3. It rotates once in 6.4 days and a year is 248.5 Earth years long. The surface of Pluto is somewhat hard to determine, at the distance it is but the majority of the surface is covered with something dark and reflective, like ice. The surface temperature on Pluto varies between about -235 and -210 C. Pluto does have an atmosphere, made of mostly nitrogen and it does have a fairly small magnetic field. The interior is most likely rock and ice but no one really knows. (windows.ucar.edu) Pluto does not have any rings but it does have three moons,
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Charon; the largest, and Nix and Hydra; the much smaller ones. The peculiar thing about Pluto is that it isnt even considered a planet by some. Some people think that it is too small and is not even the force that acts upon the orbit of Neptune. It is even thought that Triton, Neptunes moon might have been like Pluto, but then got caught in Neptunes gravitational pull. (space.com) Pluto was discovered in 1930 by a fortunate accident. Calculations, which later turned out to be in error, had predicted a planet beyond Neptune, based on the motions of Uranus and Neptune. A spacecraft has not yet visited Pluto. Even the Hubble Space Telescope can resolve only the largest features on its surface (left and above). A spacecraft called New Horizons was launched in January 2006. If all goes well it should reach Pluto in 2015. Reference: http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/pluto/pluto.html (image) http://www.space.com/pluto/...
View Full Document

Page1 / 3

SSS Pluto - Charon; the largest, and Nix and Hydra; the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online