Help – Pluto’s Moons Needs Names

Written by The Night Sky Guy on February 19, 2013 – 10:45 pm -

Even though Pluto may have been officially kicked out of the major planet club, the number of moons orbiting the dwarf planet has increased by two in just the last couple of years.  And now astronomers need your help in naming these newly discovered moons.

The naming contest for two of the tiniest satellites, measuring only 15 and 20 miles (20 and 30 km), was launched this week by the discoverers. They spotted the cosmic pair while using the Hubble space telescope to map the space around Pluto in preparation for New Horizon spacecraft’s flyby in 2015

Find out all the details about this cosmic contest on my story at National Geographic News

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Meet Mysterious Makemake

Written by The Night Sky Guy on November 26, 2012 – 5:39 pm -

Orbiting at the frozen edges of the solar system the mysterious dwarf planet Makemake is finally coming out of the shadows as astronomers get their best view yet of Pluto’s sibling.  Discovered in 2005, Makemake – pronounced MAH-keh MAH-keh after a Polynesian creation god – is one of five Pluto-like objects that prompted a redefining of the term planet and the creation of the new group of dwarf planets.

Just like slightly larger Pluto, this icy world circles the Sun beyond Neptune- and was expected to have a global atmosphere too – but new evidence reveals that isn’t the case.

Find out more about this far-off dwarf planet in my latest National Geographic News story.

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Discovery of New Moon for Pluto

Written by The Night Sky Guy on July 15, 2012 – 3:01 pm -

This week Hubble Space Telescope spied a new moon circling the dwarf planet Pluto. Here is an interview I did Sunday July 15th on this new discovery…

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