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Pluto The Dwarf Planet

Project about Pluto for Planetary Geology 2010
I updated some information and pictures on this powerpoint on 10/16/12

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Pluto The Dwarf Planet

  1. 1. PLUTOThe Dwarf Planet By: Jonathan Davila Jorge Rodriguez 1
  2. 2. Pluto Facts Formerly the smallest planet in the Solar System. In August 2006 the International Astronomical Union redefined the term planet. Now Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet. Pluto is a small rocky object that lies at the edge of our solar system. The planet is so far out, it takes light from the sun about 5 and a half hours to reach Pluto in contrast to the 8 minutes it takes to reach Earth. Its orbit of about 248 years sometimes takes it inside Neptune’s orbit. Pluto is so cold that nitrogen and oxygen, which we breathe so easily on Earth, become frozen solid. Pluto is only about two-thirds the size of our moon and recently was the biggest known object in the Kuiper Belt (an asteroid zone). 2
  3. 3. LocationPluto was the ninth planet in the solar system. The orbit the planettakes around our Sun is an ellipse. There are times when Pluto isthe furthest away from the Sun.There are also times when it is closer to the Sun than Neptune. Plutois a very long way from the Sun. Its average distance from the Sun isover 3.5 billion miles.The closest Pluto gets to the Sun is over 2.7 billion (2,700,000,000)miles, and the furthest away it gets is over 4.5 billion (4,500,000,000)miles. 3
  4. 4. How Pluto Got It’s Name?Pluto was discovered in 1930 byastronomer Clyde Tom Baugh.Mr. Tom Baugh spent a long timetaking photographs of the sky wherethe unknown planet should be andfinally discovered Pluto in one of thephotographs.Pluto is the Roman god of darknessand the underworld. Perhaps Pluto gotits name because it is in darkness.It may have also gotten its name fromthe fact that its symbol "PL" are theinitials of Percival Lowell, whofounded the observatory where Mr.Tom Baugh worked. 4
  5. 5. Missions to Pluto New Horizons is a NASA robotic spacecraft mission currently on route to the dwarf planet Pluto. Expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, and Hydra. Flyby date: 7/14/2015 Launched: 01/19/2006 A Simulated view of New Horizons passing Pluto and Charon when it arrives in 2015.
  6. 6. Mission Objectives  Secondary objectives (expected) Primary objectives (required)  Characterize the time variability of Characterize the global geology Plutos surface and atmosphere and morphology of Pluto and  Map the terminators (day/night Charon border) of Pluto and Charon with high resolution Map chemical compositions of Pluto and Charon surfaces  Map the chemical compositions of select Pluto and Charon areas with Characterize the neutral high resolution atmosphere of Pluto and its  Characterize Plutos ionosphere, escape rate and its interaction with the solar Loss of any of these objectives wind will constitute a failure of the  Search for neutral species such as mission. H2, hydrocarbons, HCN and other nitrides in the atmosphere  Search for any Charon atmosphere  Map surface temperatures of Pluto and Charon
  7. 7. Size of PlutoPluto is about 2274kilometres (1410 miles)in diameter and Charon1172 kilometres (727miles) in diameter. 7
  8. 8. What is Pluto composed of?Pluto was the only planet in our solarsystem that we have not explored witha spacecraft. The current studies tellus that Pluto is made up of a mixtureof rocks and several kinds of "ices".Scientists believe that most of the icesthat make up Pluto are frozenmethane and ammonia. 8
  9. 9. The surface of Pluto isvery dark and extremelycold. Since the planet is sofar away from the Sun, itgets almost no light or Physical Characteristicsheat.Scientists believe that thetemperature on the Pluto’ssurface is over 250degrees Celsius belowzero.At this low temperature,almost everything freezessolid. Scientists here onEarth have determined thatPluto does have a very thinatmosphere, but it is fartoo thin to support any kindof life. 9
  10. 10. Pluto’s Moons Pluto has 3 moons Charon Discovered in 1978 Largest of 3 moons Half the size of Pluto No other moon is as large, when compared to its planet. Pluto and Charon are so similar in size that some astronomers think of them as a double planet.Artist’s impression of Charon The other two moons Nix andfrom Pluto. Hydra are far smaller than Charon. 10
  11. 11. Pluto and CharonCompared to the US Pluto and Charon 11
  12. 12. Pluto Facts  Radius: 1,137 km  Mass: 1.27x1022 kg  Shape: round, no rings, 122° tilt  Density: 2.05 gm/cm3  Distance from the Sun: 5,913,520,000 km 12
  13. 13. Scaled Drawing of Orbits 13
  14. 14. Pluto Size Comparison Earth and Pluto Size Comparison 14
  16. 16. ¡TIME TO RETURN TO EARTH! Hope You Enjoyed Our Presentation! 16