The Planet That Was Considered A Moon Essay

This essay has a total of 653 words and 3 pages.

The Planet That Was Considered A Moon

For many years people have looked at Pluto as a moon rather than a planet. It is believed
that it may have been a moon of Neptune that simply broke away. We now have more evidence
that proves that Pluto is more a planet than a moon.

Scientist have now looked at the orbit of Pluto and have determined that it has the same
orbit as Kuiper belt. This is a distant region that consists of thousands of miniature icy
worlds with diameters of at least 1,000 km and is also believed to be the source of some
comets. Pluto is thought to be the biggest of these small icy worlds. An astronomer named
Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930. He also discovered that it takes 248 earth years
for Pluto to orbit the sun.

Pluto has a rocky core that is surrounded by a mantle of thick frozen water. This consists
of a bright layer of frozen methane, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide on its surface. When
Pluto comes to it closets point to the sun some of this outer layer melts to form a thin
pink atmosphere. This holds stable for 20 years while Pluto orbits the sun. As it moves
away from the sun the thin atmosphere begins to disperse.

In 1978, American astronomers James Christy and Robert Harrington discovered that Pluto
has a satellite (moon), which they named Charon. Charon is almost half the size of Pluto
and shares the same orbit. Pluto and Charon are considered a double planet. Charon's
surface is covered with dirty water ice and doesn't reflect as much light as Pluto's
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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