Solar System Scratchpad

[Boiler Plate]

Discovered after an extensive search for Planet X. Initially thought to be Earth size and dubbed the ninth planet, then continuously reduced in size as its brightness became clear and its large moon was discovered, until another object Eris was discovered in its region of space that was more massive than it, when it was demoted to a Dwarf Planet status. Considered by some a double dwarf planet due to its large moon. Also has three tiny moons and could support a ring system. First Kuiper Belt object discovered, in 2:3 orbital resonance with Neptune. Target of New Horizons spacecraft. Its surface may contain organics.

Plutonian SystemEdit

  • Charon - Large moon of Pluto, contains a tenth of its mass, making it a double dwarf planet. Its surface is completely covered in water ice, possibly from geysers. This could imply that it has subsurface liquid water. Ammonia may be helping to keep this water liquid near the surface. Has only occulted a star twice, once in 1980, and again in 2005. Has 10% less rock than Pluto, suggesting it formed in a collision and coalesced with outer material, similar to Earth's moon. The impactors could have been each about half the size of the moon.
  • Nix - Ss:Nix
  • S/2011 P 1 - Ss:S/2011 P 1
  • Hydra - Ss:Hydra

Web PagesEdit

New Horizons in the NewsEdit

NASA Solicits Plans for Mission (Dec 2000)Edit

Funding Approved (Apr 2003)Edit

To Launch with Minimal Plutonium (Oct 2004)Edit

Shipped to Goddard for Pre-launch Tests (Jun 2005)Edit

Approaching Launch (Nov 2005)Edit

Just About to Launch (Jan 2006)Edit

New Horizons Approaches Jupiter (Jan 2007)Edit

5 Year Into Voyage, Halfway There (Jan 2011)Edit

Crosses Uranus' Orbit (Mar 2011)Edit

Adjusts Course to Study New Moon (Aug 2011)Edit

In Home Stretch (Jan 2012)Edit

Proposal for Stamp (Feb 2012)Edit

Moons and Rings Could Be Hazardous (Oct 2012)Edit

En Route (Nov 2012)Edit

Pluto Planetary StatusEdit

See also Eris

First classical Kuiper Belt object Discovered (1992)Edit

Four "Plutinos" Discovered, One A Quarter Charon's Size (1993)Edit

Texas Sized KBO 1996 TL66 Found (1997)Edit

1996 TO66 Found (1997)Edit

Campaign Saved Pluto's Status as a Planet (1998)Edit

Pluto Safe From Demotion (1999)Edit

Scientists Respond to Not a Planet Claim (Feb 2001)Edit

Ixion Discovered, Possibly Larger than Charon (Jul 2001)Edit

Quaoar Size Measured, Larger than Ceres (Oct 2002)Edit

Orcus Discovered, Possibly Largest (Feb 2004)Edit

Sedna 2/3s Pluto's Size Discovered (Mar 2004)Edit

Other KBOs May Be Smaller than First Proposed (Nov 2004)Edit

See also 2002 AW197

First KBO Found Larger than Pluto, 10th Planet? (Jul 2005)Edit

Defining Planet (Aug 2005)Edit

Thermal Emission Study "Confirms" Eris Larger than Pluto (Feb 2006)Edit

Hubble Finds Eris to be Only Slightly Larger than Pluto (Apr 2006)Edit

Definition to Include All Round Objects Around Sun as Planets Proposed (Aug 2006)Edit

Downgraded to a Dwarf Planet (Aug 2006)Edit

Pluto Planet Expo (May 2007)Edit

Eris More Massive than Pluto (Jun 2007)Edit

Plutoid Class Announced (Jun 2008)Edit

Eris Could Be Smaller Than Pluto (Nov 2010)Edit

See Eris, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Sedna, Quaoar

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming Book (Jan 2011)Edit

See also Eris, Haumea

5 Years After Demotion Still Controversial (Aug 2011)Edit

Moonlet and Ring Studies in the NewsEdit

Pluto and Charon May Have Formed By Impact Like Earth/Moon (Feb 2005)Edit

Hubble Finds Two New Moons (Nov 2005)Edit

Kuiper Belt Moons Common (Jan 2006)Edit

Discoverers Describe Discovery of Pluto's New Moons (Feb 2006)Edit

Pluto Could Have Rings (Feb 2006)Edit

Pluto's Moons Get Ready for Their Closeup (Jun 2010)Edit

Fifth Anniversary of Nix and Hydra's Discovery (Jun 2011)Edit

Fourth Moon Found (Jul 2011)Edit

Fifth Moon Found (Jul 2011)Edit

New Horizons Adjusts Course to Study New MoonEdit

What to Name New Moon (Jul 2011)Edit

Simulations Show Pluto Could Have Ring System (Aug 2011)Edit

Kerberos and Styx Named (Jul 2013)Edit

Pluto Studies in the NewsEdit

Solid Methane Confirmed and Other Surface and Atmosphere Composition (Aug 1993)Edit

Pluto's Atmosphere Warmer than Previously Thought (Mar 2009)Edit

Could Pluto Have a Subsurface Ocean? (Dec 2010)Edit

Atmosphere Much Larger, Cometlike, and Contains Carbon Monoxide (Apr 2011)Edit

Organics May be on Surface (Dec 2011)Edit

Surface Changes in Hubble Maps (Feb 2012)Edit

Sharpest Ground Based Images Obtained (Sep 2012)Edit

Occultations in the NewsEdit

Charon and Pluto Occult a Star (Jun 2011)Edit

Pluto and Charon occults star Jun 23, then four days later, both Pluto and Hydra eclipse another star Jun 27
Sophia Captures First Eclipse, Will Try Second One
Other's Capture First Eclipse, Will Try Second One

Occultation to Be Viewed From Aircraft (Jul 2011)Edit


Pluto Gets a Name (1930)Edit

Student Documentary at International Film Festival (Apr 2007)Edit

Pluto FeaturesEdit

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