Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where Did Pluto Come From?

Except that it doesn’t orbit another planet—and, indeed, has a moon of its own—Pluto looks more like a jovian moon than a planet. It fits into neither the terrestrial nor jovian mold. Some astronomers believe that Pluto is really a renegade moon, escaped from Neptune’s gravitational influence due to a collision or interaction involving Triton, Pluto, Charon, and Nereid. Others regard it as a kind of spare part, something left over from the creation of the solar system, and perhaps only one of a number of such objects in the outer reaches of the solar system, the Kuiper Belt.

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