The Quick 10: Pluto, We Never Knew Ye
It was a mere 79 years ago that we discovered Pluto and embraced it as one of our nine planets. "Pluto!" we said. "We love you! You're so tiny and cute!" And then in 2006, we dumped it like a bad boyfriend. But to celebrate the anniversary of the day we first laid eyes on Pluto, we'll bring it back into the spotlight today. 1. Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh, a researcher at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. He was supposed to be looking for the mysterious Planet X, a planet that
The Pluto Files: News Veterans Still Outraged!
The buzz continues for The Pluto Files, coming to NOVA on March 2! In the The Pluto Files, we'll learn the inside story of "the rise and fall of America's favorite planet," Pluto, which was infamously downgraded from planetary status by Neil deGrasse Tyson in 1999 (well, it didn't become official until 2006). This Pluto thing is so infamous that we even have a shirt about the incident. The NOVA team has released a few more videos featuring major newsmen (and women) including Jon Stewart, Stephen
Airing TONIGHT: The Pluto Files
Tonight (March 2, 2010) on NOVA: The Pluto Files, featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson, about the controversy over the "demotion" of Pluto from planetary status in 2006. NOVA airs at 8pm in most markets, on PBS -- check your local listings here. Way back in 2000, Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History, was faced with a dilemma. In displaying the solar system, he and his team had to figure out what to do with Pluto. The ninth planet, Pluto was much
Lectures for a New Year: Neil deGrasse Tyson on Pluto
Neil deGrasse Tyson is ridiculously distinguished: the man holds at least fourteen honorary doctorates, not to mention his real doctorate in astrophysics. He was also declared "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive" by Time Magazine in 2000. But he's most (in)famous for leading the charge to demote Pluto from its planet status to a "dwarf planet." (We made a shirt about that.) As Wikipedia explains: As director of the Hayden Planetarium, Tyson bucked traditional thinking to keep Pluto from being referred
Why Pluto Isn't a Planet (Sorry)
Pluto's demotion from "planet" status to "lame Kuiper Belt resident" ahem "dwarf planet"/"planetoid" continues to be the subject of deep nerd rage. Many of us who grew up with Pluto-as-planet feel that modern astronomers are messing with our childhood memories. Others just make shirts and move on. Today I bring you C.G.P. Grey's beautifully reasoned discussion of why Pluto is or isn't a planet, what the Kuiper Belt is, the history of planets, and (most fundamentally) what the word "planet" has meant
6 Angry Letters Kids Sent Neil deGrasse Tyson About Pluto
When Pluto was demoted, elementary school students flipped out.
Next Week We'll See Pluto Up Close for the First Time in History
On July 14, the New Horizons probe will be closer to Pluto than New York City is to Hong Kong.
7 Scientific Instruments 'New Horizons' Uses to Study Pluto
The closest encounter in the historic flyby just happened a few minutes ago. Here are the instruments New Horizons used to capture scientific data.
We Reach Pluto Tomorrow! 10 Fast Facts About 'New Horizons'
We're witnessing history tomorrow as the 'New Horizons' probe reaches Pluto.
Waiting for Pluto Pics from 'New Horizons'? Watch This!
Watch the New Horizons mission specialists explain what they've been up to since 2006...and what we're about to see.
The Lighter Side of the Pluto Flyby
The Lighter Side of the Pluto Flyby
What Scientists Have Discovered About Pluto (So Far)
Some initial conclusions about Pluto and Charon, its largest moon.
Stephen Colbert and Neil DeGrasse Tyson Talk Pluto
"It even has a heart, unlike you." -Stephen Colbert to Neil DeGrasse Tyson
NASA Releases GIF of Pluto Through the Years
NASA has released a fantastic 17-slide GIF of pictures of Pluto throughout the years.
Pluto Looks Very Small When Compared to Countries on Earth
Take a Ride on NASA's Pluto Flyby
The space agency just released a spectacular new animation with images from the New Horizons mission.
Beautiful Paintings Show What It'd Be Like to Stand on Pluto's Surface
More Pluto fan art, please!
Pluto is Beautiful
Far Out! A Psychedelic View of Pluto
A false-color image of the dwarf planet shows the variation in color among regions.
NASA Releases Stunningly Detailed Images of Pluto's Surface
NASA has released several images detailing Pluto’s icy terrain that are astoundingly clear—and, as continues to be the case with Pluto, deeply intriguing.
Pluto Might Have Clouds Hovering Above Its Surface
An email exchange by NASA scientists reveals that they think they've spotted "a discrete fuzzy cloud" in the dwarf planet's atmosphere.
Pluto Has Tropics, and Other New Findings by Planetary Scientists
Yesterday at the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science conference in The Woodlands, Texas, members of the New Horizons team announced their latest findings about Pluto and its moons.
Postal Service Celebrates NASA Discoveries With Brand-New Pluto Stamps
The set celebrates last year's successful exploration of the rocky dwarf planet.
Explore Pluto With a Geographically Accurate Desk Globe
The globe is based on data gathered by the historic New Horizons mission.
On This Day in 1930, Clyde Tombaugh Discovered Pluto
He was a self-taught astronomer who had not yet attended college.