B1 Intermediate UK 2180 Folder Collection
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Pluto’s moons.
Today, Pluto is best known for losing its status as a planet.
But actually, we have discovered a few new things about it in the last few years.
The main one: it has more moons than we thought.
At least five, but there might be even more!
Charon dominates the moons.
Because of its size and mass, it’s way more influential than the other four.
Charon is so massive in relation to Pluto
that the center of mass of the Pluto system is outside the dwarf planet.
So the moons are not orbiting Pluto, but a point outside of it.
This is unique in the Solar system,
and some scientists even categorize Pluto and Charon as a double system,
instead of a dwarf planet orbited by moons.
Charon is composed either of layers of ice and rock, or it’s a giant dirty iceball.
If it weren’t orbiting Pluto, it would itself be a dwarf planet.
But what about the other moons?
Well, to be honest, we don’t know that much about them.
Pluto is incredibly far away from Earth, so it's hard to get detailed information.
But this will change soon.
In 2015, the space probe New Horizons will
reach the Pluto system after a 9-year journey
and finally give us detailed information about Pluto and its moon buddies.
Let’s throw in some infographics just for fun.
This is Pluto and its moons to scale, including spaces between them.
This is the Pluto system,
and this is Jupiter.
It is bigger than the whole Pluto system.
Jupiter is big!
Okay, let’s wrap up.
So even if Pluto isn’t a planet,
it’s still very interesting and worth exploring.
In 2015 we’ll know more.
If you can’t wait that long, watch the other Moon May videos.
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The Moons of Pluto Explained – MM#3

2180 Folder Collection
Shalott Euphoria published on June 12, 2015
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