Pluto: Dwarf Planet. ASTR101 Mike Chu Montgomery College, Germantown

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1 Full-disc view of Pluto in near-true colour, pictured by New Horizons Pluto: Dwarf Planet Contributors: Lydia Owens Fall 2015 Ma;hew Skekel Fall 2013 Wilson Manyacka -- Spring 2013 ASTR101 Mike Chu Montgomery College, Germantown

2 Pluto s History Discovered in 1930 by US astronomer, Clyde Tombaugh. 1992: Astronomers idenufied more icy bodies similar to Pluto 2003: Eris was found, causing astronomers to define the term planet, which in turn reclassified Pluto to Dwarf Planet In 2006 the InternaUonal Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto from Planet to Dwarf Planet July 2015 New Horizons spacecra] past by Pluto and sent images back to NASA Was named by a li;le girl in England h;ps://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/clyde_tombaugh

3 Who/What is Pluto? Pluto is a dwarf planet Pluto has more moons than Mars Its orbit is so highly inclined, and ellipucal enough to come closer to the sun than any other planets Only has 65% of the diameter of Earth s moon Very hard to see from Earth Its orbit is so far from the Sun that even the most gaseous compounds would freeze It takes 248 years to complete one rotauon around the Sun The temperature on Pluto ranges from 375 to 400 degrees below zero Has 1/15 the gravity that we have here According to mythology, Pluto was the name of the underworld god, also known as Hades! Pluto is located in the Kuiper belt

4 Pluto s Characteristics and Components Pluto is composed of rock and ice; 50%-70% rock and 30%-50% ice. Pluto is 1/6 th the size of earth Visual Apparent magnitude ranges from 15.1 to at Perihelion Pluto is small and has low density which means much less gravity than that on Earth (.066 of Earth s gravity 100ib person weighs just 7 ibs) Composed of Carbon monoxide, nitrogen, and methane h;p:// o.uk/news/ technologyscience/ science/plutonew-horizonsliveupdates

5 What makes Pluto a dwarf planet? (via IAU) because it is very small, icy, and is not Jovian or Terrestrial (like earth) Since it has almost all of the same characterisucs of a planet, except does not have a neighborhood cleared around its orbit, it is classified as a TransNeptunian Object (TNO) To be a planet it must: be in orbit around the sun; be massive enough to be a sphere by its own gravitauonal force; and must clear a neighborhood around its orbit

6 Pluto s Moons Pluto has 5 moons Charon was the first discovered moon of Pluto found by Clyde Tombaugh The other four were recently discovered, most recently in 1978 by James Christy Their names: Nix, Kerberos, Styx and Hydra h;p:// solarsystem.nasa. gov/images/ content/pluto- System(New- Names).jpg

7 Pluto s Family of Icy Dwarf Planets Called pluunos, which is the name for the icy objects in the Kuiper belt. Formed in outer solar nebula May be as many as 100 million planetesimals in the Kuiper belt similar to Pluto Some of the planetesimals may have once been some of Neptune's moons Image from Wikipedia Commons

8 New Horizons Flyby UnUl the flyby, we knew almost nothing about Pluto The New Horizons spacecra] was sent out to explore Pluto and the Kuiper Belt Launched January 2006 First flyby was Jupiter for a gravity boost and to do scienufic studies Summer 2015, conducted 6 month long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons July 2015 came closest to Pluto, then conunued on its mission deeper into the Kuiper Belt h;ps:/ / astron omyan dlaw.fil es.wor dpress. com/ 2012/0 7/ nhhopk inspost er_pos tersize. jpg

9 h;ps:// feature/stunningnightside-imagereveals-pluto-s-hazyskies New Science on Pluto Because of New Horizons, we have more informauon of Pluto and Pluto s moons We will soon be able to tell how Pluto and its icy PluUno s were formed Discovery of strong ultraviolet wavelength absorber on Pluto s surface means possibility of complex hydrocarbon and/or nitrate molecule on Pluto s surface

10 Pluto s Icy Mountains New images show near the equator there are young mountains rising about 11,000 feet They formed no more than 100 million years ago, young compared to the age of the solar system Mountains might sull be in the process of growing even taller Age is esumated based on lack of craters in the area Image Credit: NASA-JHUAPL-SwRI

11 What is Pluto Time? Many believe that Pluto is a completely dark planet, but in fact if you were to look outside your house around dusk or sunset, it would be very similar to the daily brightness on Pluto. NASA began a social media campaign called #PlutoTime and people all over the world began sending images of their Pluto Time The image is a mosaic of many of the images of people s own neighborhood sent in Image Credit: NASA/JPL

12 Pluto Ume image from the Bergius Botanical Garden h;p://monochrome.suuc.nu/2015/06/18/pluto-ume-at-the-bergiusbotanic-garden.html

13 Questions The following quesuons will be answered in the PowerPoint: Why is Pluto classified as a dwarf planet? Who found Pluto? How did Pluto get its name? What did New Horizons discover or find? What is Pluto like?

14 Sources Backman, Dana E., Seeds, Michael A. Texbook. Horizons Exploring the Universe Eleventh EdiUon Talbert, Tricia. New Horizons: The First Mission To The Pluto System and the Kuiper Belt. Web. 24 Aug NaUonal AeronauUcs and Space AdministraUon. 27 Oct h;p:// Dunbar, Brian. What is Pluto Web. 16 Sept NaUonal AeronauUcs and Space AdministraUon. 27 Oct h;p:// Talbert, Tricia. The Icy Mountains of Pluto. Web. 4 Nov NaUonal AeronauUcs and Space AdministraUon. 15 July h;ps:// NASA (no date) How many moons?share: (funccon(d, s, id) { var js, Is = d.getelementsbytagname(s)[0]; if (d.getelementbyid(id)) return; js = d.createelement(s); js.id = id; js.src = //connect.facebook.net/en_us/ sdk.js#xyml=1&appid= &version=v2.0 ; Is.p. Available at: h;p://spaceplace.nasa.gov/how-many-moons/en/ (Accessed: 4 December 2015). h;p://spaceplace.nasa.gov/how-many-moons/en/ Cain, F. (2015) Who discovered Pluto?. Available at: h;p:// who-discovered-pluto/ (Accessed: 4 December 2015) Unknown (no date) Science Daily. Available at: h;p:// releases/2011/12/ htm (Accessed: 6 December 2015). h;p:// h;ps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/moons_of_pluto

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