37Pluto - Pluto Charon Kuiper Belt Object Detection...

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Pluto & Charon Exploring Distant worlds Kuiper Kuiper Belt Object Detection Belt Object Detection Tombaugh spent many nights at the telescope, many days looking at photographic plates - looking for objects that move relative to the stars Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory, Arizona
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Because Pluto is sometimes closer to the Sun than Neptune, some people thought it might be an escaped moon of Neptune. Looking down on the solar system - the orbits of the outer planets Keeping Neptune fixed and watching the paths of the other planets for millions of years But orbital calculations show that Pluto and Neptune’s orbits are in a 3:2 resonance - they dance together - but never get close. Pluto now Neptune fixed In 1978 Jim Christy discovered that Pluto has a moon Charon Even with a good telescope, the Earth’s atmosphere makes tiny Pluto look very fuzzy Binary Planet System Mass of Pluto ~ 6 x Mass of Charon
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Spin-Orbit Phase Lock Mutual Eclipses Pluto’s Extreme Seasons over 248-year orbit
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