Questions regarding the former 9th (now dwarf) planet Pluto.

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18
votes
3answers
800 views

Pluto's orbit overlaps Neptune's, does this mean Pluto will hit Neptune sometime?

We know that the orbits of Pluto and Neptune overlap. This means that pluto sometimes crosses the orbit of Neptune; will Pluto hit Neptune in any circumstance?
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Is Pluto still a dwarf planet?

Recent news seem to suggest that astronomers are arguing about whether Pluto should become a planet again. However, I cannot find an official source for this. Is this actually true?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is there a black stripe in the Hubble images of Pluto?

While reading reports about the New Horizons misson, I noticed an odd vertical, black stripe in the images of Pluto. Here is an example: Source: Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto ...
7
votes
1answer
99 views

Effect of Charon on Pluto

Even though Pluto is not known as a planet anymore, theroetically it has/had a moon, called Charon. I've heard about something that their size are so close to each other that while Charon rotates ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Do Pluto and Charon have unusual Langrange points?

The usual examples of Lagrange point mechanics one most commonly encounters, Sun-Earth-L# and Earth-Moon-L#, are examples of 3-body problems where 1 >> 2 >> 3 in terms of their mass. The Pluto-Charon ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

Have Pluto or any of its moons been mapped?

I was looking over some of the data for the terrestrial planets, and noticed that Venus, despite its cloud covering, had been mapped by the Arecibo Observatory. Also that other planets such as mars, ...
6
votes
0answers
32 views

Why doesn't the New Horizons probe fly any nearer than 10,000 km from Pluto? [migrated]

New Horizons is intended to pass within 10,000 km of Pluto on its flyby on July 14. This will give a maximum resolution on the surface of 50m per pixel. This seems to me a bit of a waste, when it ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

What will New Horizons be able to say about a magnetic field at Pluto?

Does NASA's New Horizons flyby probe to Pluto have instruments to measure Pluto's (or Charon's) magnetic field, if any? I'm a bit confused by the Wikipedia article which says that New Horizons, ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

What theories are there in explaining the formation of the Pluto-Charon system?

After reading the question and answer to Effect of Charon on Pluto, a further question is this: how is the Pluto-Charon relationship explained? Specifically, what theories are there in how did the ...
1
vote
3answers
115 views

Would Pluto keep an orbit without its moon?

I haven't studied space that much, but I know that Pluto has very little gravity, but just enough to keep a human on its surface. Would Pluto keep a regular orbit around the sun without some extra ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Use Pluto's gravitation to reach the next dwarf planet [migrated]

Why doesn't New Horizons fly by nearer to Pluto so the gravitational pull would slingshot the probe to one of the next dwarf planets in the outer solar system (Eris, Haumea, Makemake,...)? I would ...
0
votes
0answers
88 views

BIG Problem with the Planet definition

Ok, so Pluto is only ~1/13 the mass of the objects in "its orbit". This orbital region extends from 40 AU to 70 AU (semi major axes)- Now, just a minute. 30 AU is all the mass we are considering. Now, ...
-1
votes
1answer
47 views

How can I predict space directions?

Did the Neptune and Pluto trajectories ever cross or was it a mere reclassification? Do studies say that I can predict an intersection between 2 trajectories or movements based on data now? Do I have ...