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View Full Version : Pluto Was Born With Its Moons



Fraser
2006-Feb-23, 04:35 AM
SUMMARY: Pluto and its three moons were likely formed together when two large objects collided millions of years ago. Charon has been observed for decades, but the two new smaller moons, discovered last year, also orbit in the same plane as Charon and have a similar orbital resonance. It's even possible that Pluto has a ring system. Astronomers now believe that many Kuiper Belt Objects have multiple moons, and even higher order systems will probably be discovered in the years to come.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/pluto_3_moons.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

snabald
2006-Feb-23, 07:12 AM
Wow... Pluto might have rings! That would be cool, a non-gas giant with rings!

Wolf-S
2006-Feb-23, 12:22 PM
Yeah, this is certainly amazing. The more we study planets, the more unique they look.

antoniseb
2006-Feb-23, 01:42 PM
This was a nice article. The idea that close moons are results of major impacts is interesting. One thing that I thought was cool about the article was that there was no sense of indignity about Pluto, but at no point did the article refer to it as a planet. We all know what Pluto is, and there was no need to try and use the article to say it is or it isn't a planet. Nice writing.

shupla
2006-Feb-23, 04:29 PM
Great story, but is the first line "Pluto and its three moons were likely formed together when two large objects collided millions of years ago" correct? I didn't find any evidence of it in the story or the original release; wouldn't it be more likely to have happened at least 3 billion years ago?

I'd like to hear more about where that number came from. Astronomically, it suggests a very recent event.

Christine

Disinfo Agent
2006-Feb-23, 10:29 PM
Aren't you glad the New Horizons probe was greenlighted?
<Crosses fingers.>

Duane
2006-Feb-23, 11:31 PM
Great story, but is the first line "Pluto and its three moons were likely formed together when two large objects collided millions of years ago" correct? I didn't find any evidence of it in the story or the original release; wouldn't it be more likely to have happened at least 3 billion years ago?

I'd like to hear more about where that number came from. Astronomically, it suggests a very recent event.

Christine

I think you're absolutely right. Call it literary licence. Had it occurred only "millions" of years ago, the heat from the collision would probably still be detectable.

Tacitus
2006-Feb-24, 07:03 AM
Aren't you glad the New Horizons probe was greenlighted?
<Crosses fingers.>
But it would be a bit of a bummer if nothing else was found out there within reach of the probe. Space is big... and there are no Jupiter-sized masses out there to deflect New Horizon's trajectory by much.

Still, at least there's a chance.

parallaxicality
2006-Feb-24, 11:00 AM
I love how Pluto seems to be making itself more interesting in preparation for New Horizons. If only the real Pluto took such care before his own first date.

day day
2006-May-08, 11:23 PM
SUMMARY: Pluto and its three moons were likely formed together when two large objects collided millions of years ago. Charon has been observed for decades, but the two new smaller moons, discovered last year, also orbit in the same plane as Charon and have a similar orbital resonance. It's even possible that Pluto has a ring system. Astronomers now believe that many Kuiper Belt Objects have multiple moons, and even higher order systems will probably be discovered in the years to come.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/pluto_3_moons.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.
i think that this is cool because i thought that pluto had only one moon and i wouldnt think it had an ring systeam.

Ilya
2006-May-08, 11:42 PM
I love how Pluto seems to be making itself more interesting in preparation for New Horizons. If only the real Pluto took such care before his own first date.
I think his "date" with Persephone was arranged quite meticulously. Including contingency plans should she prove reluctant (as she did).