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Will Pluto Surprise Scientists?

First-time encounters have a long history of shocking planetary scientists with unexpected features. It’s about time for Pluto. Since New Horizons was launched in 2006, Pluto went from planet to...

What to Look for at Pluto

moon Io in eruption. Its instruments are now bringing in data from Pluto and its 5 moons (Hydra, Kerberos, Nix, Styx and the large moon Charon that makes Pluto almost...

Water Worlds Tempt with Life, Not Youth

...hide an ocean deep below the surface. These include the dwarf planets Pluto and Ceres; other Jupiter moons – Europa and Calisto [sic]; Saturn’s moons Enceladus, Titan and Mimas; and...

Solar System Reversals

...JPL’s Dawn website for news. On July 14, New Horizons makes its historic flyby of the dwarf planet Pluto (to many, it’s the 9th “planet”). Feb. 4 was discoverer Clyde...

Of Planets and People

...past, the scientists say. The summaries do not explain why the coronae are less cratered than the surrounding terrain, nor why they have sharp boundaries and high cliffs. Pluto: The...
Triton Neptune montage

Active Moon Triton Revisited

...Pluto encounter (July 14, 2015) by the approaching New Horizons spacecraft: In a double sense this is fitting, as Triton is a near twin of Pluto. Triton and Pluto are...

Keeping Titan Old

...our lifetime, even if a proposed sampling mission gains approval (PhysOrg). Perhaps the New Horizons mission next year will reveal similar processes operating on Pluto. Even so, Pluto is not...

Every Planet Surprises Secular Astronomers, II: Outer Planets

...unexplained). While dust would fly off its smaller moons, presumably, Pluto has enough mass to keep its infalling dirt. William McKinnon (Washington University, St. Louis) doubts that Pluto is a...

Two Solar System Surprises

...“If Pluto were as big as a basketball, Sedna would be a softball and the new world a mere golf ball.” Science Daily says this is probably one of thousands...

Scientists Dodge Youthfulness of Saturn Moon Titan

...by in 1989. Pluto could well be the next Triton. As if remembering past mistakes, John Spencer allowed that “It [Pluto] could be just as wonderful and exotic as Triton’s...

Astronomers Wrestle with "Endless Mysteries"

...look. Kerr said that Pluto has been partially explained as a member of a previously undiscovered population of trans-Neptunian objects. “The mysteries of the remaining eight planets,” i.e., all of...

Europa Plus Water Does Not Equal Life

...liquid water, the elixir of life is turning up all over the place.  Astrobiology Magazine claimed that even distant Pluto may have liquid water, along with Callisto, Ganymede (other moons...

New Worlds

...as Pluto.  When first discovered by Mike Brown in 2005, it was thought to be larger than Pluto, and led to an emotional debate about what defines a planet.  Both...

8.7 Million Species Is Not a Scientific Fact

...ever since Pluto got demoted from a “planet” to a “dwarf planet” (after some tried minor planet or plutoid).  The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the panel that places a...

New Planet Discovered Beyond Pluto; Another Has a Moon

A 10th planet, the biggest since Pluto was found 75 years ago, has been discovered.  Late Friday, a JPL press release announced the find made in January by Dr. Mike...
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