Tag Archives: pluto

Planet 9: A New Planet in Our Solar System?

“In my day, Pluto was a Planet!” said everyone over the age of…15 or so. Pluto was demoted from planet status ten years ago (a decision I do agree with–see here), and now we only have eight planets–or do we? … Continue reading

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The Wild Chemistry, Geology, and Everything Else of Pluto

I just got back from the American Astronomical Society’s winter conference, and let me tell you, there was a lot of great science going on there, but I wanted to focus particularly on the latest findings about Pluto. Pluto’s geology … Continue reading

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Planet or Not? How About “Planetoid”?

I’ve argued that Pluto shouldn’t be a planet, and I’ve also argued that we don’t know enough to rigorously define the word “planet”. Now, I want to take a closer look at how and why we divide our own Solar … Continue reading

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How to “Define” the Word “Planet”

So the IAU has declared that Pluto is not a planet. I agree with this assessment, but I also think that the IAU’s definition is poorly written. So how should that word “planet” actually be defined? It’s not simple.

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Why Pluto Really Shouldn’t be a Planet

(But the IAU is Wrong, Too.) In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted that Pluto was not a planet, just months after the New Horizons spacecraft was launched with a mission to…visit the last planet that had never been … Continue reading

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More on Pluto: Nitrogen Glaciers and a Hazy Atmosphere

NASA has released its final batch of findings and images of Pluto from New Horizons until the main bulk of the data starts downloading in September, and there’s a lot more interesting stuff to see. Most of Pluto’s appearance is … Continue reading

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Pluto Update: Mountains, Moats, and Methane

New images from space missions are often slow to be released. The Deep Space Network isn’t exactly broadband, and they have to process the images to make them look presentable. But we still have a few new shots of Pluto … Continue reading

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Weird and Active Pluto and Charon

The New Horizons spacecraft successfully completed its flyby of Pluto on Tuesday and collected all the scientific data it was planned to without a hitch. On Wednesday, we got our first pick at what these new data revealed. Methane Ice … Continue reading

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Pluto Update: Pictures and Video!

Update: New Horizons is alive! The flyby went as planned with no computer glitches. All the data appears to be there. Also NASA TV is working now, and UStream appears to be offline, so click there for the press conferences. … Continue reading

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Breaking News: Pluto is the Largest Dwarf Planet!

At this writing, the New Horizons spacecraft is only hours away from its closest approach to Pluto. Except in the unlikely event that it crashes into something (*knocks on wood*) or the more likely event that its computer crashes (*knocks … Continue reading

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