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Thread: Fifth Pluto moon discovered

  1. #1
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    Fifth Pluto moon discovered

    Hubble has revealed a fifth moon of Pluto

    John Spencer, one of the NH project scientists says in UMSF forum:
    "We'll be doing deep searches for additional satellites with LORRI as we approach Pluto- the last search will be about 18 days before closest approach, and our last chance to change to our pre-designed bail-out trajectory will be ten days before closest approach. So we'll be very busy that week! The amount of fuel needed to switch to the bail-out trajectory will be quite small, so it shouldn't affect the KBO encounters very much. But of course Pluto is our highest priority, so if we find we do need to sacrifice a KBO encounter in order to keep us safe at Pluto, it won't be a difficult decision."
    (link to post)

    Things are getting crowded out there!

  2. #2
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    Isn't there a finite limit to the mass of moons a planet can maintain in orbit, based on its own mass?
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  3. #3
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    Cool Compliments for the the discovery of a fifth satellite of Pluto.

    Hy to all, compliments for dr. M.W. Buie et al. for the discovery of a fifth
    satellite of Pluto IAUC 9253.
    S/2012 (134340) 1
    Cheers Gonano.

    P.s. I hope to not vialate any copyright ;-)))

  4. #4
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    gonano,

    I moved your post from Site News. No copyright problem, but this seems like a better.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Isn't there a finite limit to the mass of moons a planet can maintain in orbit, based on its own mass?
    That's what I was wondering. :-) Can't wait for NewHorizons to get "upclose and personal."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDon View Post
    Isn't there a finite limit to the mass of moons a planet can maintain in orbit, based on its own mass?
    I believe Pluto and Charon are orbiting a common point in space. So its kinda like a binary dwarf planetary system with other little moons orbiting them possibly the result of an impact so it could have lot of small debris in orbit that can cause problems for the flyby.

  7. #7
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    I feel bad for not being too excited by the fact that pluto has 5 moons. I guess my take on it is "what else is out there to orbit?"
    It's like going to a small town and finding the whole town congregating around the Dairy Queen after dinner.

    As for the maximum mass that could orbit Pluto two things crop into my head. One - that the inclusion of additional bodies makes that area more attractive (gravitationally) for even more bodies - so it's a positive feedback loop. Two - based on the location of the common point in space is it possible to calculate the missing mass? I'm going to guess that point wouldn't shift much because the solar system is pretty much set. (at least the inner solar system ).

    Its probably likely that most large Kuiper Belt objects have multiple moons around it. If that weren't the case then Pluto might be more of an anomaly...

    Also, I wonder if this is what happens when you can't get enough mass to form a large planet that far out away - you get this sort of complicated dance instead.

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    I say, 5 moons. Can we upgrade Pluto from Dwarf Planet back to Planet now??

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    4 Moons, Pluto/Charron is a double planet system, technically

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    4 Moons, Pluto/Charron is a double planet system, technically
    Not according to the IAU.
    it has been argued that Charon should be considered to be part of a binary system. However, the International Astronomical Union(IAU) describes Charon simply as a satellite of Pluto.[...]Charon is not in the list of dwarf planets currently recognized by the IAU.

  11. #11
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    [Picard] I see five moons! [/Picard]

  12. #12
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    Recently (2 weeks ago?) I saw an item on Twitter (legit science source) speculating that Pluto may have 10 moons. Guess we'll find out (New Horizons).

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    It is according to NASA, which frankly, is good enough for me.

    Binary PlanetPluto's largest moon, Charon, is half the size of Pluto. The pair form a binary planet, whose gravitational balance point is between the two bodies. Although binary planets are thought to be common in the galaxy, as are binary stars, no spacecraft has yet explored one. New Horizons will be the first mission to a binary object of any type.

    Source: http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/whyGo.php

  14. #14
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    I wonder why we feel so strongly about Pluto being a planet? Seems strange after all it was only found in the thirty's, it's a long long away and it's just a lump of inanimate rock. Would there be as must concern if the star HIP17678 was suddenly deemed to be something else other than a star? Just seems that we feel so personally that Pluto has been downgrade (you see fallen into the trap of personalization) WHY?

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    Quote Originally Posted by speach View Post
    I wonder why we feel so strongly about Pluto being a planet? Seems strange after all it was only found in the thirty's, it's a long long away and it's just a lump of inanimate rock. Would there be as must concern if the star HIP17678 was suddenly deemed to be something else other than a star? Just seems that we feel so personally that Pluto has been downgrade (you see fallen into the trap of personalization) WHY?
    People don't seem to be too bothered that Ceres is no longer a planet.

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    Ceres was not the famous farthest one!

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    Quote Originally Posted by speach View Post
    I wonder why we feel so strongly about Pluto being a planet? Seems strange after all it was only found in the thirty's, it's a long long away and it's just a lump of inanimate rock. Would there be as must concern if the star HIP17678 was suddenly deemed to be something else other than a star? Just seems that we feel so personally that Pluto has been downgrade (you see fallen into the trap of personalization) WHY?
    Disney named a dog after Pluto, therefore...

  18. #18
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    ...also the nice triad of radioative metals: uranium-neptunium-plutonium...



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  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by StarsAndScopes View Post
    I say, 5 moons. Can we upgrade Pluto from Dwarf Planet back to Planet now??
    Yes, the categorisation of Pluto being involved in a bi-dwarf planetary system seems ill-advised. It's a mouthful.
    Last edited by Canis Lupus; 2017-Mar-05 at 12:38 AM.

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