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Unformatted text preview: Surface too far away to see anything clearly some evidence for surface features, maybe polar caps - Figure 9.28 shows our best images. [Link to Figure 9.28] probably covered by frozen methane Atmosphere • very low mass => weak gravity => hard to trap gasses very cold (about 40 K) so any gasses would freeze out onto the surface o => probably no atmosphere HOWEVER, when closest to the Sun (as is was 1989-1999) o temperature is warmer (58 K) thin methane atmosphere forms History probably a left-over planetisimal Moons: one moon - Charon • about 1/2 size of Pluto o very big compared to the planet • orbit is close to Pluto (19,700 km) • strong tidal interactions on both Pluto and Charon o BOTH Pluto and Charon keep same side toward one another o only one side of Pluto ever sees Charon !!...
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- Spring '10
- Astronomy, Planet, Pluto, Dwarf planet, Natural satellite