Is Pluto a Planet?

Is Pluto a Planet? By NASA, ESA and G. Bacon (STScI) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


In this part of the lesson, you get to learn more about the history of the discovery of Pluto and the redefinition of it from a planet to a dwarf planet, or plutoid. Use the resources on the Is Pluto a Planet? student esheet to help you answer the questions on this sheet.

When was Pluto discovered? Who made the discovery?



What are some characteristics of Pluto?



What happened on August 20, 1992, and how did it change our view of the solar system?



What did Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz discover on October 21, 2003? What is its significance?



What happened in August 2006?



According to Michael Brown, how did this decision affect our perception of the solar system?



Why do you think Dr. Brown says that our picture of the solar system was a “cartoon picture”?



Where is the Kuiper Belt located?



What three dwarf planets did Dr. Brown and his team discover?



According to Dr. Brown, what is the mission of a scientist?



What are some of the problems encountered by scientists involved in this kind of research?



What was Dr. Brown’s reaction to the demotion of Pluto and the “tenth” planet that he had found?



What is Dr. Brown’s hope for our view of the solar system?




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