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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(one of the commenters to this story asked: How many moons does Pluto have to have before they call it a planet again? :eek: )

Hubble telescope spots new Pluto moon



ASA's Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a new moon orbiting the dwarf planet Pluto, the fifth such satellite to be discovered and the smallest one to date.

The moon, provisionally named S/2012 (134340) 1, or P5, travels in an orbit around Pluto that is 95,000 kilometres in diameter and lies in the same plane as the orbits of its other moons.

"The moons form a series of neatly nested orbits, a bit like Russian dolls,"
Astronomers hope to learn even more about Pluto and its moons when the New Horizons spacecraft makes a high-speed fly-by past the distant dwarf planet in July 2015, getting as close as 10,000 kilometres from Pluto.

Scientists hope the NASA spacecraft will bring back the first detailed images of Pluto, which is so small and far away that even the Hubble can only barely detect very large features on its surface.
(CBC)
 

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Pluto is what it is, regardless of how **** sapiens, in its infinite (albeit ever-shifting) wisdom, designates it. It's kind of funny, on a cosmic scale. But I'm glad to hear that the thing has five moons. Somehow that gives me a charge.

I'm with you, Sinc. We pronounced Uranus the same way. Strangely enough, we never joked about it.
 

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R.I.P. Don - 06/21/2020
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That's still got to be one of my favorite jokes from futurama:
Farnsworth: "it isn't called Uranus anymore since the renamed it in 2020 to put an end to that stupid joke once and for all."
Fry: "so what's it called now?"
Farnsworth: "Urectum."
That's hilarious, never heard that one before! :D
 

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Since Pluto has been stripped of its Planetary Birthright, does it not follow that these are not Moons? Perhaps they more properly should be referred to as; Moonies.:D
 

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Since Pluto has been stripped of its Planetary Birthright, does it not follow that these are not Moons? Perhaps they more properly should be referred to as; Moonies.:D
As a comic in all seriousness, I believe you have to be classed as a planet in order to have moons. Which means the body that de-classified Pluto has some 'splainin' to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·


(St. Albert's on the Web)

And for those who weren't aware, NASA's New Horizons Pluto encounter mission is chugging right along...

In 2006, NASA dispatched an ambassador to the planetary frontier: The New Horizons spacecraft, now more than halfway between Earth and Pluto, is on approach for a dramatic flight past the icy dwarf planet and its moons in July 2015.

After 10 years and more than 3 billion miles, on a historic voyage that has already taken it over the storms and around the moons of Jupiter, New Horizons will shed light on new kinds of worlds on the outskirts of the solar system.

Pluto gets closer by the day, and New Horizons continues into rare territory, as just the fifth probe to traverse interplanetary space so far from the sun. And the first ever to travel to Pluto.


New Horizons is so far away, it takes over FOUR HOURS for light to reach it from the sun...
 

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Palindromic Pooch
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"Pluto hasn't completed a full orbit since its discovery." Something to keep in mind next time you're tempted to complain about how long the winter has been.
 

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It must feel a lot like living in Winnipeg, but without the mosquitoes.
 

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A question on the New Horizons spacecraft I don't understand...???

As it takes so long and even with the possible speed of light, how do they keep in contact with the spacecraft for control etc. and how long will it take for any data it collects to get sent back to Earth???

"Pluto’s distance from the Sun is 5.9 billion km – the exact number is 5,906,376,272 km. Need that figure in miles? Pluto’s distance from the Sun is 3.67 billion miles."

And from Earth:
"At its most distant, when the two bodies are on the opposite sides of the sun from one another, Pluto lies 4.67 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) from Earth. At their closest, the two are only 2.66 billion miles (4.28 billion km) apart. ..."

Something doesn't make sense..

So how come they say:

New Horizons is so far away, it takes over FOUR HOURS for light to reach it from the sun...

Edit: Found it... and I misread the facts.

As of 31 March 2014, its distance from Pluto is about 3.74 AU or 559,000,000 km (about 28.98 AU or 4.335×109 km from Earth), with radio signals taking approximately 4 hours to travel to the spacecraft from Earth (an 8 hour round trip).[1]
New Horizons - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sorry,
I read it a FOUR YEARS!! :(
 

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It takes about four hours to receive data from the craft at this point. New Horizons is set on a trajectory that requires little adjustment, however when a course adjustment is required, it takes four hours to send that information.
 
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