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PLUTO - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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PLUTO. Motion and discovery of Pluto. As faint as stars, Pluto is seen to change its position significantly in one day. Pluto by HST. Pluto. Not like a Jovian planet; more like an asteroid, minor planet, or planetesimal  Kuiper Belt Object

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motion and discovery of pluto
Motion and discovery of Pluto

As faint as stars, Pluto is seen to change its position significantly in

one day

pluto1
Pluto
  • Not like a Jovian planet; more like an asteroid, minor planet, or planetesimal  Kuiper Belt Object
  • Mass ~ 0.0022 x Earth’s; 6 times lighter than the Moon,

but similar size

  • Though small, Pluto has a moon – Charon; largest satellite/planet ratio (8%, vs. 1% for Earth)
  • Pluto-Charon as a double planetesimal
  • Pluto-Charon are tidally locked to each other; both with rotation/revolution period of 6.4 d; face each other all the time
  • Atmosphere: Gaseous methane, N, CO !! pressure ~ 10-6 bars, T ~ 40 K
  • Very eccentric orbit; at perihelion Pluto can be closer than Neptune