Edited by Miguel Mendez (fall 2011)


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Title: why Pluto is no longer a planet
Author: Fraser Cain
Pluto, what use to be the ninth planet in our solar system, has now come to be known as a collection of objects in the Kuiper Belt. Astronomers have found many objects similar to Pluto's composition in the Kuiper Belt. Some smaller, others about the same size and one named Eris is either bigger or the same size as Pluto. It has 25% more mass than Pluto. Since there were so many similar object to Pluto the IAU (International Astronomical Union) all voted to take out pluto as a planet and leave our solar system with only 8 planets.

http://www.universetoday.com/13573/why-pluto-is-no-longer-a-planet/ (This link obatins information on why pluto is not a planet anymore.)

This link take you to a website where more information about pluto is given to you such as facts, Pluto's moon and missions to Pluto.Also what the definition of a new planet is and the mass and density of the planet.

This link provides with a bit information on Pluto's history but mainly focuses on how Pluto is the only known dwarf planet to became a planet in our solar system. It also includes characteristics of the dwarf planets.

In this link it describes the new mission that is currently on its way towards Pluto. New Horizon is the name of the mission. It also describes other missions that have been sent to observe other planets but was able to catch images and determine whether Pluto's system is dangerous.

This Link describes the atmosphere of Pluto and what it is composed of. It also describes how it would be if we were able to live in Pluto. It describes Pluto with having a poisonous atmosphere that is very thin.

Hector T. (spring 2011)


By: Andrew Downing

This page provides links to information about the dwarf planet Pluto. Previously thought to be the ninth planet, Pluto was declared to not be a actual planet when it was discovered that it does not control its own orbit. For more information on why Pluto is not a planet see Why Isn't Pluto a Planet Anymore?

Pluto seen through the Hubble telescope (Nasa.gov)

Discovery and Name
Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Clyde William Tombaugh. It is named after the Roman god of the underworld. It was named by Venetia Burney when she was eleven years old in 1930. Pluto was originally called Planet X. [1]

Size and orbit

Pluto has an orbit of 5,913,520,000 km or 39.5 Astronomical Units. Its orbit is normally beyond Neptune’s. However, at times its orbit makes its close than Neptune. It has a diameter of 2274 kilometers and a mass of 1.27e22 kilograms. Pluto is smaller than the following moons: The Earth’s moon, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto, Titan and Triton. Pluto is considered a double planet because its largest satellite, Charon, is almost the same size. [1]
Atmosphere and Surface
Pluto has an atmosphere that is made up of nitrogen, methane and carbon dioxide. In April 2011, it was discovered that Pluto’s atmosphere is poisonous. The carbon monoxide makes up most of the atmosphere and it extends about sixty miles. The gas has a temperature of about -364 degrees Fahrenheit. The nitrogen and methane make up its surface. Pluto is currently the only dwarf planet to have a known atmosphere. [1][2]

While this site is also on the "Why Isn't Pluto a Planet Anymore" page, I feel it should be included in here too. This is a very good site that gives information on Pluto, as well as a list of statistics and pictures.

Pluto Fact Sheet
This is a list of information about Pluto in easy to read chart form, such as its mass, surface gravity, etc. and compares Pluto to Earth. It also includes information about Charon, Pluto's moon.

The information on this site is presented in a very clear manner and is very easy to understand, with most of the pictures being very colorful. Most likely a site for kids this is still a good source of information on Pluto, with different things about it being laid out by basic subject (i.e. temperature on Pluto, Pluto's size, etc.).

Space.com - Pluto
This site gives a brief summary of Pluto and then gives links to different stories about Pluto that are elsewhere on the site. While many of these stories are about how and why Pluto is no longer a planet, many of them have good information about the dwarf planet.

Title: New Horizons: Mission to Pluto
Author: N/A
Date: N/A
There is currently a probe being sent to Pluto called the New Horizons spacecraft. The spacecraft was launched in 2006 and is currently halfway between the Earth and Pluto. It is set to land in July 2015. The website gives a timer for how long the spacecraft has been in space and how much more time it is going to take to land. There are also computer generated images that show the current position on the New Horizons spacecraft. Because the website is from NASA, it is accurate. The page was easy to understand. However, the page with the charts may not be as easy to understand.

Title: Interesting Facts about Pluto
Author: Fraser Cain
Date: April 2008
This site gives interesting facts about Pluto that you may have not known about. Pluto has an atmosphere that is made up of carbon monoxide, methane and nitrogen. Pluto has three moons. The largest is Charon, which is almost the size of Pluto. The other two are called Nix and Hydra. It is a binary system, meaning Pluto and Charon orbit each other. Pluto is smaller than seven moons.Some of the facts were checked for accuracy and were accurate. The facts are easy to understand but may require you to look up definitions.

Title:Dwarf Planets: Pluto
Author: N/A
Date: N/A
This website offers a detailed and simple summary of Pluto. There are also facts about the planet and images. The latest headlines and significant dates are listed. The dates include both the past and future dates. Various links to helpful website are listed to further expand your study of Pluto. The website is provided by NASA’s official website. The site is more for people who study astronomy. Some of the terms are not easy to understand and the numbers are not simplified.

Title: Pluto's Atmosphere Found Poisonous and Surprisingly High
Author: Space.com Staff
Date: April 19, 2011

The website provides a current summary of Pluto’s atmosphere. It is a current article that was posted on April 2011. Pluto’s atmosphere was confirmed to be made up of carbon monoxide, nitrogen and methane. The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) was used to see the planets atmosphere. Details about the gasses are discussed. The website has been cited by other sites like Yahoo, CNN and MSNBC which show it is an accurate website. Some of the terms need to be defined to understand the article.

Title: Exploring The Planets - Pluto
Author: N/A
Date: July 2008
The website provides a complete summary on Pluto. This includes facts, orbits, moons and the current mission to Pluto. The facts include: the discovery, size, mass, temperature and comparison to the Earth. It was simple to read and to understand. The website is accurate, but is not updated with the news about the carbon monoxide discovery. The information is provided by the official website of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.