Tag Archives: Pluto

5th, Yes Fifth Moon Discovered Orbiting Around Dwarf Planet Pluto

by Anura Guruge

Discovery of 4th moon post — 21 July 2011.

Click to access and read CNN article re. P5, the 5th moon of Pluto.


Alton, NH, Superintendent, Kathleen Holt Thinks Pluto Status Is Still In Doubt

Please refer to the December 13, 2011 post re. ‘New Hampshire School Still Insists That There Are 9 Planets!, that Alton Central School (ACS) in Alton, NH, is still teaching 5th graders that Pluto is a planet and giving them homework to reinforce that there are nine (9), yes nine, planets in our Solar System.

Well, I raised the issue in writing with the Superintendent for the school district, SAU #72, Kathleen (Kathy) Holt and on got this letter, dated December 23, 2011 on Christmas Eve.

Pluto letter by Kathleen Holt (Kathy Holt), Superintendent Alton Central School (ACS)

Alton Superintendent Kathy Holt weighs in, interestingly, on Pluto. (Click to ENLARGE)

I was most intrigued by her belief that the occurrence of debate, irrespective of the motives and mandate of the debaters, immediately compromises the truth and fact. So, as I pointed out to her, she probably has given the ‘OK’ to her teachers to teach that our current president was not born in Hawaii. Interesting. I wonder what 5th graders in Sri Lanka, China, South Korea and India are being taught about Pluto.

New Hampshire School Still Insists That There Are 9 Planets!

by Anura Guruge

This was the homework assigned to my 11-year old, 5th grade daughter by her science teacher, at Alton Central School (ACS), on November 30, 2011.

You will note that the whole point of this 22 question sheet is to REINFORCE that there are 9 planets in the Solar System.

Ironically the first planet featured, right on top, is Pluto!

It is the timing that irks and worries me. It is now a FULL 5 years after the fact.

Two years ago, when she was in 3rd grade, she was taught that Pluto was a planet. But, I was willing to let that slide.

But, this is 2011. This ‘Luddism’ has to stop. Yes, I know that New Hampshire is ‘the sticks’, but I think our kids deserve better.

Please click to ENLARGE

The Overlapping Orbits Of The Trans-Neptunian Dwarf Planets

by Anura Guruge

When it was still thought of as a planet, one of the many things that set Pluto apart from the other eight planets was that it cut across the orbital path of a neighbor, viz. Neptune. The others had well separated orbits that never strayed into the paths of others.

Whereas Pluto was the exception when it came the planets, it was in good company among the dwarf planets, especially the trans-Neptunian plutoids. All four of of them have orbits that duck-and-weave through each other. Here is a rough sketch of the orbital paths of Pluto, Haumea and Makemake showing the overlaps.


New Moon Discovered Orbiting Pluto

by Anura Guruge

On July 18, 2011, NASA scientist using Hubble Telescope images to research the possibility of a faint ring around Pluto discovered a fourth moon — provisionally designated P4. It has an orbit in between that of the other two small moons, Nix and Hydra [page 67 of Devanee’s book.]

Here is NASA’s initial depiction of the orbits — bearing in mind that Pluto and Charon can be thought of as a binary system since Charon does not orbit around Pluto per se, with both orbiting around a common point well outside of the boundaries of both bodies. [page 40].

NASA's initial depiction of the NEW P4. Note that Charon's orbit 'around' Pluto isn't exactly as shown.

New Book On Dwarf Planets (By Anura Guruge) Now Available On Amazon

by Anura Guruge

This is a full-color, heavily illustrated 108 page (7″ x 10″) book meant to be a guide book for pre- and early teens, as well as their parents and teachers, on dwarf planets — the new category of celestial objects in our Solar System which now includes Pluto. It is now available from Amazon for $16.99 (with possibility of free super saver shipping).

Dwarf planet book by Anura Guruge

Dwarf planet book by Anura Guruge

This is the Table of Contents: