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Pluto and Other Kuiper Belt Objects

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  1. Pluto and Other Kuiper Belt Objects Julia Richardson Valerie Voswinkel Mohammad Kredan Jessie Podolin

  2. Basic Properties • Neither a terrestrial or jovian • Rocky dwarf planet • Tilt: 199.61 degrees • Direction of rotation on its axis: clockwise (also referred to as the opposite direction) • Length of Day: 6.39 Earth days • Length of Year: 247.7 Earth years • How far from Sun: 3.67 billion miles • Night Average Temperature: -223 degrees Celsius • Day Average Temperature:-233 degrees Celsius

  3. Basic Properties cont… • Mass compared to Earth: it is 1/455 of Earth’s mass • Density compared to Earth: Earth’s density is way over 1,000,000,000 but Pluto’s is about 100,000

  4. General Structure and Composition • General structure and composition: very rock rich, mostly ice, 90% nitrogen and 10% other molecules, like other icy moons, interior: is composed of water ice of many different stages, shows different phases of ice

  5. The Atmosphere • Pluto has a fluctuating atmosphere, depending on its distance from the sun. • The ice melts and forms a nitrogen, methane, and carbon atmosphere when the planet nears the sun • As it travels farther away, it re-freezes into ice

  6. Rings • Pluto does not have any rings. • some scientists hypothesize that it possibly might have rings, because it does contain two nearby moonswhich could kick up surface debris into orbit for 100,000 years

  7. Surface Features • Pluto is mainly icy. • 50-75% rock and the rest an ice composite • The surface is made up of the same elements as the atmosphere, since they can be one and the same. • Those elements are 98% Nitrogen, and 2% Carbon Monoxide and Methane

  8. Moons • Charon is the main moon of Pluto. • It is said to have been in orbit since creation. • Also, there are two smaller moons, Nix and Hydra • They are only a few kilometers across but are a concern because they may create a micro-impact with Pluto and send debris into orbit around the planet, creating rings.

  9. Discovery • Astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh • Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona • February 18, 1930

  10. Notable Missions • New Horizons • Halfway there • Dispatched in 2006 • Planned arrival is July 2015 • First probe to travel this far Hubble space telescope has given us some images of Pluto, Pluto’s moons, and the Kuiper Belt

  11. Kuiper Belt • Shaped like an ellipse • Composed of icy chunks of various substances • Mixture of frozen water, ammonia, and various hydrocarbons • The most densely populated section is called the classical Kuiper Belt • Between 42 and 48 AU’s from Sun

  12. Kuiper Belt (cont) • Pluto is largest KBO • Quaor is more than half the size of Pluto • Muakemake and Huamea are closer in size to Pluto • Seven known satellites in KB • Satellites are as large as the objects they orbit around

  13. The End

  14. Works Cited • http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pluto-discovered • http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/planets/pluto/ • http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_Pluto's_mass_compared_to_earth • http://www.windows2universe.org/pluto/pluto_composition.html • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/education/activities/3113_origins_07.html • http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/dwarf-planet.html • http://www.universetoday.com/32515/kuiper-belt/ • http://www.universetoday.com/8452/research-uncovers-new-kuiper-belt-mystery/