Pluto and the Solar Systems of Distant Suns

This morning, on my way into the office, I was thinking about Pluto and why its surface appears to be so young. I began to formulate a hypothesis in which Pluto, in the early days of the solar system, was actually in the inner solar system, then through gravitational interactions it was flung into theContinue reading “Pluto and the Solar Systems of Distant Suns”

On the New Horizons Stamp Petition

A few days ago my parents told me that my three-year-old niece had developed an interest in astronomy, that she had been asking her parents questions about Mars and Uranus, and she wanted to know what all the planets. “Oh,” I said. “That’s easy.” And I rattled off the list of planets, from Mercury onContinue reading “On the New Horizons Stamp Petition”

On New Mexico Laws

Two interesting legislative initiatives are winding their way through the New Mexico legislature. One would deal with Pluto. A law was passed declaring March 13th, 2007 “Pluto Planet Day.” An excerpt from the legislation: NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that, as Pluto passes overhead through NewContinue reading “On New Mexico Laws”

On Pluto's New Moons

Pluto, that distant planet at the edge of the solar system, so far that the Sun appears as little more than an ordinary star, has been revealed to have two new moons, in addition to the previously discovered Charon. [U]sing images from the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Southwest Research Institute andContinue reading “On Pluto's New Moons”