Two More Moons Discovered Around Pluto


clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
I propose the names "Cerberus" and "Mine!" (Because the second one is mine... ;) )

I think it's reasonable to assume that the general public will continue to regard Pluto as a planet, even if some parts of the scientific community do not.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
Mr. Anderson said:
I hope they give them better names soon - P1 and P2 just don't work. :D

Unless they've got blue and white stripes and sing children's songs...

Nice find Mr. Anderson. I wonder how big they are relative to Pluto. I can't seem to find dimensions in the article. :(
 

clayj

macrumors 604
Jan 14, 2005
7,473
180
visiting from downstream
mad jew said:
Unless they've got blue and white stripes and sing children's songs...

Nice find Mr. Anderson. I wonder how big they are relative to Pluto. I can't seem to find dimensions in the article. :(
Ya gotta read more carefully:

The two new moons are between 30 and 100 miles (45 to 160 kilometers) in diameter, Weaver said. There is not enough data to pin their size down exactly, however. Pluto is 1,430 miles wide and Charon's diameter is about 730 miles.
 

Whyren

macrumors 6502a
Mr. Anderson said:
This will just further increase the debate on whether or not Pluto can be classified as a planet (seems it might weigh in favor now).
Especially considering that these moons are significantly smaller than Pluto, not somewhat similar like Charon. As for names, how about Thanatos/Orcus/Februus or perhaps Hermes? (Cerberus sounds good as well, clayj) This should lend a bit more interest to the Pluto Express mission as well.

I guess this just goes to show you that the Hubble Space Telescope is outdated technology not worth maintaining. :rolleyes:
 

EricNau

Moderator emeritus
Apr 27, 2005
10,589
31
San Francisco, CA
OK...
Here's what bothers me about some (not all) scientists. Why don't they make up their minds about Pluto? If they considered it a planet at one time, why are they now deciding that it isn't? It's not like they discovered it was half the size they originally thought it was. So really, what these scientists are arguing about is what the definition of a planet is...And fact is, they have no idea, because everyone has their own oppinions. So we will never know if Pluto is a Planet because we will never know what a planet really is! :eek:
Soon - they'll decide these aren't moons either ;)
PS - the definition of a moon would mean it has to be orbiting around a planet. So if these really are moons, then this just solved the debate whether or not Pluto is a planet.
 

joepunk

macrumors 68030
Aug 5, 2004
2,557
13
a profane existence
Cool news.

I do hope that they get better names though. I kind of like Norse God/Goddess names. A bit different from the usual naming nomenclature of Roman names. Or how about using some Native Aboriginal American names
 

MacSA

macrumors 68000
Jun 4, 2003
1,804
5
UK
joepunk said:
Cool news.

I do hope that they get better names though. I kind of like Norse God/Goddess names. A bit different from the usual naming nomenclature of Roman names. Or how about using some Native Aboriginal American names
Not all celestial objects are named after figures in Roman mythology. For isntance the giant Kuiper Belt object named "Quaoar" comes from a figure in Native American mythology, there is also "Sedna" - the Inuit Goddess of the Sea.

Newly discoeverd objects are given provisional names which denote the time of their discovery. If these objects found around Pluto are confirmed they will be given names.

The "Tenth Planet" still has the provisional title of 2003 UB313.
http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~mbrown/planetlila/index.html
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
mad jew said:
Thanks, I do. :eek:
Don't worry every now and then everyone misses the obvious.

Those days you try looking for that bruised spot on your ass, and you can't find your ass.
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,194
6
Adelaide, Australia
I say call one iMoon and the other PowerMoon. iMoon can be whiter than PowerMoon but it won't orbit nearly as fast. PowerMoon will be prone to denting from flying asteroids whereas iMoon will be nearly indestructible.

Both moons will be converting to a different mineral base some time in the next year, the iMoon doing it first.
 

EGT

macrumors 68000
Sep 4, 2003
1,606
1
mad jew said:
I say call one iMoon and the other PowerMoon. iMoon can be whiter than PowerMoon but it won't orbit nearly as fast. PowerMoon will be prone to denting from flying asteroids whereas iMoon will be nearly indestructible.

Both moons will be converting to a different mineral base some time in the next year, the iMoon doing it first.
Ahhh very good ;)
 
EricNau said:
OK...
Here's what bothers me about some (not all) scientists. Why don't they make up their minds about Pluto? If they considered it a planet at one time, why are they now deciding that it isn't? It's not like they discovered it was half the size they originally thought it was. So really, what these scientists are arguing about is what the definition of a planet is...And fact is, they have no idea, because everyone has their own oppinions. So we will never know if Pluto is a Planet because we will never know what a planet really is! :eek:
Soon - they'll decide these aren't moons either ;)
PS - the definition of a moon would mean it has to be orbiting around a planet. So if these really are moons, then this just solved the debate whether or not Pluto is a planet.
Categorizing is what humans and scientists in particular do. Sometimes the universe doesn't fall into nice little pockets.

The more we learn, the less we know, and Pluto isn't going to care less if it's a planet or a trans-Neptunian object. It'll still be the same icy world, orbiting the same orbit it has since we discovered it.

Pluto is Pluto.
 

jsw

Moderator emeritus
Mar 16, 2004
22,819
41
Andover, MA
I am just amazed - even knowing how it's done - that we can detect something that small that far away. Light takes an average of, what, 8 hours to get here from there, and we detect objects as small - potentially - as 30 miles across at that distance.

Stunning.
 

emw

macrumors G4
Aug 2, 2004
11,177
0
This is very fascinating. You've got to think there are probably more moons out there in our own solar system that we have yet to find. It's a big area.

As for the size, finding something that small is wild, but considering we've identified planets around suns that are light-years away, this is probably pretty "easy".
 
jsw said:
I am just amazed - even knowing how it's done - that we can detect something that small that far away. Light takes an average of, what, 8 hours to get here from there, and we detect objects as small - potentially - as 30 miles across at that distance.

Stunning.
I'm not sure what's more amazing, that we can focus on an object so far away and so tiny, or that the sheer emptiness of space doesn't pack enough dust in 3 billion miles to obscure something so tiny and far away.

8 hours away riding piggyback on a photon... Speeds and distances such as this are so difficult for the average person to visualize and that is why so many people believe in UFOs and think that we'll be traveling to other stars in the next couple of centuries.
 
emw said:
This is very fascinating. You've got to think there are probably more moons out there in our own solar system that we have yet to find. It's a big area.

As for the size, finding something that small is wild, but considering we've identified planets around suns that are light-years away, this is probably pretty "easy".
Jupiter and Saturn continue to give up moons. We have at least 139 in our solar system right now!

We've inferred the existence of planets around distant stars by the wobbles they create, but I don't think we've actually imaged any... yet.
 

wordmunger

macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
5,125
2
North Carolina
EricNau said:
OK...
Here's what bothers me about some (not all) scientists. Why don't they make up their minds about Pluto? If they considered it a planet at one time, why are they now deciding that it isn't? It's not like they discovered it was half the size they originally thought it was. So really, what these scientists are arguing about is what the definition of a planet is...And fact is, they have no idea, because everyone has their own oppinions. So we will never know if Pluto is a Planet because we will never know what a planet really is! :eek:
Soon - they'll decide these aren't moons either ;)
PS - the definition of a moon would mean it has to be orbiting around a planet. So if these really are moons, then this just solved the debate whether or not Pluto is a planet.
If that's what bothers you about scientists, you may as well give up on science. Science is constantly changing as our awareness of the universe changes. I think the original discoverers of Pluto just got excited that they found something new orbiting the Sun, and made a mistake by categorizing it as a planet. We're all used to thinking of nine planets, so it's been a tougher task for scientists to convince us that Pluto isn't a planet.

It's kinda like how the guy who named the "brontosaurus" made a mistake and didn't realize there was already a name for it -- "apatasaurus." But "brontosaurus" was already in all the textbooks, and we still have a tough time convincing people that the real name is "apatasaurus."
 
wordmunger said:
It's kinda like how the guy who named the "brontosaurus" made a mistake and didn't realize there was already a name for it -- "apatasaurus." But "brontosaurus" was already in all the textbooks, and we still have a tough time convincing people that the real name is "apatasaurus."
The brontosaurus didn't just have the wrong name, it had the wrong head!

http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2055