God of the underworld (Greek: Hades)
- ABOUT PLUTO
The ninth planet and last to be discovered. Are there any
more? There are probably some bodies orbiting the far
reaches of the solar system. Whether we choose to call
them planets remains to be seen. Pluto may just be the
largest of a whole group of bodies on the fringe of the
solar system. Not much is known of this world. There have
been proposals to send spacecraft but none has been
funded yet. It's composition is likely to be similar to the
moons of the gas giants, such as Triton. It is probably ice
- DISCOVERY DATE
1930. As with the discovery of Neptune, there seemed to be
something not quite right with the solar system. Something
was still perturbing the outer planets. There must be a
Planet X. Percival Lowell was pushing Planet X as much as he
pushed his Mars theories. He would die before it's discovery.
His observatory would continue the search. The
astronomers were busy on other projects so they hired a
Kansas farmboy named Clyde Tombaugh. He had impressed
them with his drawings of the planets. Clyde Tombaugh would
systematically photograph areas of the sky in search of the
unknown planet. He would take two photos of the same
region at different times and then compare the two looking
for anything that moved. After an exhaustive search he
finally found the planet Pluto.
Three as of 7/23/06 It's large moon is Charon.
It was discovered in 1978 when James
Christy noticed that Pluto had a bulge on a photographic
plate. The bulge moved slowly around the planet. It must
be a moon close to Pluto. The moon is almost as large
as Pluto itself making it almost a double planet. This
moon and Pluto combined does not seem to have enough
mass to affect the outer planets. There may still be a
Planet X lurking in the darkness. Only time will tell.
- OBSERVING - NAKED EYE
No chance. Not even an owl could see it with the naked eye.
- OBSERVING - TELESCOPE
It takes a moderate size telescope to see it at all. It is
only a faint dot. It can only be distinguished for certain
by making a drawing to determine if the faint dot you see
moves. If it does, you have seen the ninth planet.
An artist's impression of Pluto and it's moon Charon.
The sun is small and weak from this far out.
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