www.whyville.net Jul 27, 2007 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Interview with Pluto

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Hey I'm back again with another "Interview With The Planets." This time I'm going to do a segment on Pluto.

Pluto was once considered one of the nine planets. Now, it is by itself and is a dwarf planet. It was classified as a dwarf planet in August 2006 when a new definition of a "planet" was formed, and this definition didn't include Pluto. But before this Pluto was classified as a planet for 75 years.

It is usually the farthest planet from the sun that we know of, every so often switching places with Neptune. It has an oval orbit which causes it to switch places in our solar system.

Pluto has not yet been visited by spacecraft. The Hubble Space Telescope can only produce the largest features on Pluto's surface. But a new spacecraft called the New Horizons is planed to reach Pluto around 2015, and it was launched in January 2006.

Pluto does have one satellite (or moon) that is called Charon. Charon is about half Pluto's size. Charon was discovered in 1978.

Earth is about 5.6 times the size of Pluto in diameter, and Mercury is about 2.14 times bigger. Jupiter is almost 63 times Pluto's diameter.

Now to the interview.

Mokey6: What's it like being the smallest planet? (even though you only sort of classify as a planet, a dwarf one at that)
Pluto: Well, it isn't very different, only that for some reason about my size, Saturn brags the most to me.
Mokey6: Are you close to anything in the solar system besides the planets?
Pluto: Yes, Neptune's largest moon, called Triton, because it seems as if we have the same history.
Mokey6: Really? Could you explain how that is?
Pluto: Of course. See, the nature of our orbits are alike. We have the same bulk properties as well.
Mokey6: Cool. So I heard that you once may have been a moon of your close friend, Neptune. What's that about?
Pluto: Oh yes. That was once thought. But now it seems unlikely.
Mokey6: Oh I see. Do they have any other thoughts about what you may have come from? Since you're not a planet, by definition?
Pluto: Well, they thought that myself, my half-my-size planet Charon, and Triton may have came from a type of a large class of similar objects, and that we are the remaining objects.
Mokey6: Very cool. So I am guessing you get along with Charon and Triton very well?
Pluto: Oh yes. We are all very close. We form our own clique.
Mokey6: Oh really? What do the other planets think about that?
Pluto: Well, the other planets (besides Earth and Neptune) think it's just a way for us lonely objects to get some respect. But that's not what it's about at all.
Mokey6: Cool. So Any other theories about where you or something close to you may have come from?
Pluto: It is thought that Charon may have been a result of my crashing into another large body. And now I need to go so I can catch my orbit. Bye!

Well there you have it. Straight from Pluto, the dwarf planet.

This was mokey6! Good bye!


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