Outer solar system

  • Studying Dwarf Planets
    In this lecture, Michael Brown talks about Eris, the dwarf planet he discovered, and discusses other intriguing findings in the farthest reaches of our solar system.
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  • The Discovery of Eris
    In this lecture, Michael Brown talks about his discovery of the dwarf planet, Eris. He also explains how scientists take a tiny point of light in the night sky and figure out how big it really is.
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  • Hunting Distant Dwarfs
    In this lecture, Michael Brown talks about the discovery of Pluto in 1930, and explains how scientists today find other distant objects in the Kuiper Belt.
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  • Defining Planets
    In this lecture, Michael Brown discusses the controversy over Pluto's demotion to a "dwarf planet" and what that means for our scientific understanding of the solar system.
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  • Astrobiology Top 10: New Horizons
    Astrobiology Magazine is looking back over 2006, highlighting the Top 10 astrobiology stories of a very eventful year. At number 9 is the launch of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. By visiting Pluto and its neighbors in the Kuiper Belt, scientists hope to
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  • A Glimmer of Pluto on the Horizon
    The New Horzons spacecraft is continuing to speed through the solar system, and now it has spotted its main target: Pluto. New Horizons plans to study Pluto and its neighbors in the Kuiper Belt, a ring of icy bodies located on the outer edge
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  • Capturing Triton
    Neptune's large moon Triton may have abandoned an earlier partner to arrive in its unusual orbit around Neptune. Triton is unique among all the large moons in the solar system because it orbits Neptune in a direction opposite to the planet's rotation (a "retrograde" orbit).
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  • Hubble Spies Pluto’s New Moons
    The Kuiper Belt is a band of icy, rocky objects and dwarf planets that orbit the Sun in the outer region of our solar system, beyond the orbit of Neptune. It has been known since 1992; Pluto is its most prominent member. Using the
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  • To Pluto and Beyond
    As the New Horizons mission to Pluto prepared for launch in January, NASA presented a webcast in which mission scientists answered questions from the public. In this edited transcript, project scientist Harold Weaver Jr. talks about what we could learn about Pluto.
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  • Questioning Pluto
    As the New Horizons mission to Pluto prepared for launch in January, NASA presented a webcast in which scientists answered questions from public. In this edited transcript, David Kusnierkiewicz, mission systems engineer for New Horizons, talks about technology that will take spacecraft
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  • New Horizons mission to Pluto launched
    The New Horizons mission launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 2 p.m. Eastern time this afternoon. The spacecraft is now headed to the planet Pluto, speeding from Earth at 8 miles per second. Because Pluto is so far away, it will take New
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  • Moons Over the Kuiper Belt
    In the not-too-distant past, the planet Pluto was thought to be an odd bird in the outer reaches of the solar system because it has a moon, Charon, that was formed much like Earth's own moon was formed. But Pluto is getting a lot of
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  • Sizing Up the Ferryman
    Being in the right place at the right time gave a group of Massachusetts research astronomers a unique opportunity to study Pluto's largest moon Charon. The resulting measurements, to unprecedented accuracy, of Charon's size and possible atmosphere provide insight into the way this distant world
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  • Pluto… Brrrr!
    Mercury is boiling. Mars is freezing. The Earth is just right. When it comes to the temperatures of the planets, it makes sense that they should get colder the farther away they are from the Sun. But then there is Pluto. It has been suspected
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  • Reading Space Dust
    The University of Colorado at Boulder's long heritage with NASA planetary missions will continue Jan. 17 with the launch of a student space dust instrument on the New Horizons Mission to Pluto from Florida's Kennedy Space Center.
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