Lagrange 5

waypoint to the past, present, and future of space

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Pluto as mysterious today as ever

An Associated Press article on ABC News celebrates this week's 75th anniversary of the discovery of planet Pluto.

Or is it really a planet? Is it formerly a moon of another planet, or another object altogether, such as a comet?

Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930, by Clyde Tombaugh of the Lowell Observatory, during a search for a so-called Planet X.

The article observes that Pluto's eccentric orbit around the sun follows the Kuiper Belt, which may contain as many as 100,000 objects.

Its status as a planet is still very much alive in the public mind. It is the only planet not yet visited by terrestrial spacecraft. And until that happens, Pluto will continue to be a riddle for us to solve.


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