Person, Michael J. Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
- First detection
- Occultation observations, 2002–2014
- New Horizons and concurrent observations
- Present understanding
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Since its discovery in 1930, scientists have tried to characterize Pluto from afar, but with the extreme distance between Pluto and the Earth (about 5 × 109 km or 3 × 109 mi in 2016), direct observation is very difficult. Pluto's largest moon, Charon, was not discovered until 1978, and attempts to map Pluto's surface only began in the late 1980s. Yet throughout this period, astronomers theorized about the possibility that our “ninth planet” might have an atmosphere, even though it was totally undetectable with the technology of the time. See also: Pluto; Satellite (astronomy)
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information