Dwarf Planets Explained

After Pluto was discovered in 1930, it was regarded as the ninth major planet, although it was soon found to be very different from the others. It is smaller than Earth’s Moon and follows an elongated, titled orbit.

In the 1990’s astronomers began to discover small bodies similar to Pluto beyond Neptune. Some, such as Eris, were larger then Pluto. In 2006, astronomers decided to define a new category of dwarf planets, including Pluto.

In 2005, a search made with Hubble Space Telescope resulted in the discovery of two tiny moons orbiting Pluto in addition to Charon. They were called Nix and Hydra, names connected with Pluto and Charon in mythology, but which also have the same initials as New Horizons.

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