Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Fifth Moon Discovered Orbiting Pluto
Posted on 07/16/2012 3:14:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: A fifth moon has been discovered orbiting Pluto. The moon was discovered earlier this month in images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in preparation for the New Horizons mission's scheduled flyby of Pluto in 2015. Pictured above, the moon is currently seen as only a small blip that moves around the dwarf planet as the entire system slowly orbits the Sun. The moon, given a temporary designation of S/2012 (134340) 1 or just P5 (as labeled), is estimated to span about 15 kilometers and is likely composed mostly of water-ice. Pluto remains the only famous Solar System body never visited by a human-built probe and so its origins and detailed appearance remain mostly unknown.
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I didn't get the memo! Bravo, *planet* Pluto!
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I didn't get the memo! Bravo, *planet* Pluto!
That was many moons ago.
New Horizons is now 8.73 AU out from Pluto and 22.69 AU from earth. That’s a bit over 3 hours and 8.5 light minutes away from us.
That’s no moon, that’s Michele Obama’s big ass.
Pluto has 5 natural satellites and it’s not a planet.
From that picture I counted at least 100 other “moons”. Moon is defined as a “natural satellite around a planet”.
Pluto may be a dog but he aint’ no planet, at least according the same guys.
I still think that Pluto’s “demotion” from a planet wqas By the Euro’s out of jealousy/anti-US attitudes when Bush was president because Pluto had been discovered by an American.
Still, this was the first moon I had heard of other than Charon!
Now, on a technical note, Pluto was being looked for because of the problems in Neptune’s orbit problems that finding Uranus DIDN’T solve. But Pluto is too small and too far away to change either Uranus’ orbit or Neptune’s orbit.
So, what was the final answer to Neptune’s orbit? Was Uranus sufficient, or is there an orbital discrepancy?
Quite a litter of pups old Pluto has there. He’s the pet non-planet of the solar system.
But he is a “wanderer” (planet), so I don’t really agree that he should have been demoted.
Five moons, but not a planet. No respect, I tell you.
Hey, if it’s a litter, would’t that make it a family of cats?
I wholeheartedly agree!
Regarding the flickers in Neptune’s orbit, the problem has been solved at least three times. The first solution involved taking corrected masses for Jupiter and Saturn into account. That one didn’t really catch on. The second solution was to throw out the anomalous data basically by saying that the observations were botched, and assume there was no problem with the ephemeris of Neptune. That one didn’t catch on either. The third solution (which has caught on, at least for now) has to do with the corrections to the masses of Neptune and Uranus made possible by various probes which flew close to each planet on the way through. Neptune’s smaller, but Uranus is less dense and less massive.
There are still those dissatisfied with the solution, and although this generation’s search for TNOs hasn’t had anything to do with a search for Planet X, the large objects discovered by Brown et al have all been a bit cockeyed and point to some kind of large unknown body in the outer Solar System. Two major champions of the classic Planet X search have passed on, but the search has passed down to a new generation.
My wild uneducated guess is, large objects beyond Pluto will be retrograde (and diagnostic of capture), which is the same situation seen with the dozens of small moons of Jupiter discovered in the past ten years or so.
By retrograde, I will also claim objects orbiting the Sun well out of the plane of the ecliptic. A large body crossing what we consider the ecliptic nearly perpendicularly could have passed near enough to Neptune to yield the anomalous observations and for a short enough period of time.
“Litter” refers to a group of animals born of the same mother. So puppies arrive in a litter as well as kittens.
But if you like, I suppose Pluto may have adopted a litter of cats. Stranger things have happened.
|"To Pluto And Far Beyond" By David H. Levy, Parade, January 15, 2006 -- We don't have a dictionary definition yet that includes all the contingencies. In the wake of the new discovery, however, the International Astronomical Union has set up a group to develop a workable definition of planet. For our part, in consultation with several experienced planetary astronomers, Parade offers this definition: A planet is a body large enough that, when it formed, it condensed under its own gravity to be shaped like a sphere. It orbits a star directly and is not a moon of another planet.|
I meant kitty litter.
And I thought you knew me by now. ;’)
Well, right away, I mean. Gee whiz. You have to suffer for a little while... You're in the dog house now, meanie! Um... OH.
Don’t worry, you haven’t hurt my felines.
Just beagle ad I’m not going to deface this topic with more puns.
I know there have been very, very few rotations of the outer planets since they were discovered ... But would a single pass explain the change as first seen?
Once started, a “ripple” in Neptune’s orbit would continue all the way through the remaining passes of every orbit due to inertia. A satellite orbiting earth, for example, once bumped by a comet or second satellite or the Space Shuttle when it was serviced, will continue orbiting, but the sideways motion of that first bump would change each subsequent orbit.
ephemeris of neptune perturbed
You must beagle ad that you fine alley got an offer tuna tea to use that one!
Yes, and aside from the dust counter and the SWAP particle instrument, the spacecraft is in hibernation until next year’s rehearsal. They just had the three-years-until-encounter party in Boulder last week.
The Mars Science Laboratory will have to tide me over for a while. 19 days and 6 hours to touchdown.
The Dawn spacecraft should be departing Vesta in a few months and heading for Ceres.
Hopefully a soft rather than hard touchdown — the skycrane scares me!
It’s also 6 weeks until Juno’s Deep Space Maneuver in preparation for the October 2013 Earth flyby.