[meteorite-list] Pluto - Part 2 of 2
From: bernd.pauli_at_paulinet.de <bernd.pauli_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:32:50 2004
Sky & Telescope, March 1990, pp. 295-296:
A Far Out Planet, George Lovi, excerpt:
Finally, a rather interesting astronomical issue has surfaced as to whether
Pluto should legitimately be included in the roster of nine major planets. Its
decidedly small size (some 2,280 km across) makes it considerably smaller
than any other planet, even smaller than several planetary satellites (including
our own Moon). It also has a most unplanetary, asteroid-like orbit.
For sometime people have suggested that Pluto is an escaped satellite of
Neptune, one resembling Triton. Others have proposed that Pluto might be
some sort of condensed clumping of icy cometary nuclei, or the material that
makes up these bodies.
It's really too bad that we cannot look forward anytime soon to a probe answering
some of our questions about this "neither fish nor fowl" planet - or whatever it happens
CRUIKSHANK D.P. (1999) Pluto and Charon edited by S. Alan
Stern and David Tholen (MAPS 34-4, 1999, 682, excerpt):
While this book is at least a wonderful compilation of our best understanding of Pluto and
Charon, it also represents a window on the other small bodies of the outer solar system,
notably Triton, a few other outer planet satellites, and the newly revealed population of icy
bodies constituting the Kuiper Disk.
Many Kuiper Disk objects share Pluto's orbital resonance with Neptune; vastly more lie
beyond Pluto and form a distribution that may extend to 200 AU or more. Indeed, Pluto
and Charon appear to be only the largest known representatives of this new-found
component of the solar system. Although the exploration of the Kuiper Disk is in its
infancy, this book about the properties of Pluto and Charon in its broader context helps
to establish the importance of primitive icy bodies and is a kind of guidebook toward the
understanding of their physical properties.
This excellent book is a credit to the Arizona series, to its editors, and to the chapter authors.
I recommended it to investigators in the field, advanced students, and science libraries without
reservation. (D.P. Cruikshank)
Received on Tue 16 Mar 2004 11:43:53 AM PST