Pluto

Those poor objects stuck in size between asteroids and true planets.
Christopher K.
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Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » August 24th, 2011, 12:38 pm

Five years ago, the International Astronomical Union approved a definition of "planet" for which Pluto did not qualify. The New Horizons spacecraft had been launched just seven months earlier and had a catchy slogan which worked at the time--First Mission to the Last Planet.

The new definition of planet has three sections. (1) The object must orbit the Sun; (2) the object must be massive enough to be spherical or nearly spherical; (3) the planet must be "dominant" enough to clear objects out of its orbit. It's this third section that confuses and frustrates some people. However, many had questioned for some time whether Pluto should have been grouped with the other traditional planets.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/vision/universe/sol ... 60824.html
http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/P/planet.htm

fred8615
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Re: Pluto

Post by fred8615 » August 24th, 2011, 4:24 pm

Christopher K. wrote:(3) the planet must be "dominant" enough to clear objects out of its orbit. It's this third section that confuses and frustrates some people.
Especially when you remember that for part of its orbit, Pluto is inside the orbit of Neptune. So by that definition, Neptune isn't a planet! :o
Frederick J. Barnett
"Someone's got to take the responsibility if the job's going to get done!! Do you think that's easy?!" Gregory Peck - The Guns Of Navarone

Christopher K.
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Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » June 10th, 2012, 4:47 pm

It's no small wonder BRAS is still fielding questions about Pluto's status. The IAU has posted a helpful essay with a FAQ section at the end.

The essay:
http://www.iau.org/public/pluto/

Christopher K.
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Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » December 21st, 2014, 4:44 pm

Because of its extremely dim magnitude, personally I do not post regular information concerning the position and appearance of Pluto. However, for those who want to stay "in the know", Pluto will be in conjunction with the Sun on 3 January.

Pluto will remain in Sagittarius until January 2024, when it crosses into Capricornus.

Christopher K.
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Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » April 13th, 2015, 3:16 pm

NASA and the International Astronomical Union has extended until Friday the 24th a campaign to help name features on Pluto. Suggestions must follow a set of guidelines.

6 April NASA Press Release:
http://www.nasa.gov/press/2015/april/na ... -on-pluto/

IAD Naming Convention for Dwarf Planets:
http://www.iau.org/public/themes/naming/#dwarfplanets

Nominating a Name:
http://www.ourpluto.org/

Christopher K.
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Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » June 12th, 2015, 4:25 pm

NASA has announced the upcoming schedule of live events connected to the New Horizons flyby of Pluto. The organization has a good start with the documentary "The Year of Pluto" which will be airing on all three NASA-TVs. I believe this documentary is one hour in length. At the least, the HRPO public can view the first half-hour of this program tonight at 7pm, and tomorrow night at 8pm.

The dates and times are...
Friday, 12 June at 7pm
Saturday, 13 June at 5am
Saturday, 13 June at 3pm
Saturday, 13 June at 8pm
Sunday, 14 June at 7am
Sunday, 14 June at 12pm
Sunday, 14 June at 7pm
Sunday, 14 June at 10pm

All times are Central Daylight.

Christopher K.
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Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » June 18th, 2015, 11:05 am

We are now beginning to see different features on Pluto! These features are still low-resolved, but they are extremely excited for all us who have waited our whole lives for this. From 29 May to 2 June the remaining distance between our New Horizons investigating spacecraft and mysterious Pluto shrank from fifty-five million kilometers to fifty-and-a-half million kilometers.

To compare, the Earth's distance to bright Venus (which shines like a beacon in the west after sunset this week) is about ninety-two million kilometers.

The Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager on board New Horizons took images which prove beyond all doubt that Pluto is a world of varying bright and dark surfaces.

The LORRI images:
http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files ... 6-1-15.jpg

Christopher K.
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Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » June 24th, 2015, 5:33 pm

The Highland Road Park Observatory will host two public sessions on Tuesday 14 July.

The color, composition and landscape of Pluto have subjects of intense speculation for over eighty years. Now speculation will be replaced with fact as the New Horizons spacecraft finally arrives at its primary destination. The morning session (from 6:30am to 8am) will mark the actual moment the spacecraft gets its closest to Pluto. The evening session (from 6pm to 9pm) will be one of celebration, when the confirmation signal from New Horizons reaches Earth!

Both sessions have free admission and are for all ages.

Christopher K.
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Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » June 30th, 2015, 11:15 am

The symbol for Pluto is a combination of the letters "P" and "L". This symbol refers to both the object's name (which young Venetia Burney suggested) and the name of Percival Lowell (who anticipated the discovery).

Do you like Pluto's symbol? Could something better have been chosen, or is the monogram a perfect tribute to the man who predicted Pluto's discovery and the remoteness of the object? Please vote for Pluto's symbol:
http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/multimedia/ ... ?IM_ID=263

Christopher K.
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Joined: October 12th, 2009, 3:28 pm
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Pluto

Post by Christopher K. » June 30th, 2015, 5:22 pm

"The Year of Pluto" will air a few more times on all three NASA-TVs. I have yet to see it, but NASA apparently really wants to promote this program.

The dates and times are...
Tuesday, 30 June at 8pm
Wednesday, 1 July at 9pm
Thursday, 2 July at 8pm

All times are Daylight.

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