The fact that Pluto is going to be to be visited next month has become great news for all space enthusiasts, due to the fact that so little is know about this dwarf planet and its five moons. The General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union held in Prague, in 2006, “demoted” the planet from its rank, and many astronomers protested against this decision up to the present time.
Since Pluto has been degraded from being the ninth planet of the solar system to just being a dwarf planet with five natural satellites that do not act like most planets do, the planet has become the mysterious dark horse that is the only binary planet in our solar system. Being located in the Kuiper Belt, that is an area of our cosmic zone that is filled with many smaller celestial bodies, Pluto has many asteroids orbiting around it. As a result, it fails to meet all the requirements for being called a planet, namely having no other smaller stars in its nearby space.
Because Charon orbits so close to it, the two celestial bodies are considered and item. Its other natural moons, Styx , Kerberos, Nix and Hydra do not have a regular pattern of movement and their orbit has been described as “chaotic”. The Hubble Space Telescope has been observing them for years, but the data is not conclusive enough to reach any major conclusions.
In July, NASA is going to send the space craft named New Horizons to further investigate the surface of the planet bring more detailed information about it. Exactly on the 14th of July, on the National Day of the United States, the New Horizons craft will reach Pluto at the closest degree and scientist believe that the new information that is going to be collected will probably challenge the old definition of what a planet really is.
As a consequence, Pluto might be fully restored in its rights and this might also be possible for many other smaller planets as well. The results will certainly surprise everybody.
Image sources: townnews.com