I am a planet, insists Pluto

2014-05-28 10:15
A plan to build an optical telescope much bigger than Salt has cleared an important hurdle. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A plan to build an optical telescope much bigger than Salt has cleared an important hurdle. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Pluto is making its case to be re-admitted to the family of planets that orbit the solar system.

The planetoid was demoted from full planet status in 2006 when astronomers voted that it be classed as an object in the Kuiper Belt.

However, according to report on the Scientific American, the Hubble Space Telescope has identified five moons orbiting Pluto as well as an atmosphere composed of methane.

The Kuiper Belt is a region on the fringes of the solar system composed of thousands of objects that have a diameter of around 100km.

Eris, another KBO (Kuiper Belt Object), was thought to be larger than Pluto, but new research suggests that this may have been flawed.

Eirs is estimated at 2 326km in diameter, while Pluto's size has been upped to 2 367km, thanks to its atmosphere.

Nasa launched its New Horizons Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission in 2006 and the satellite will fly past Pluto in 2015 and it is expected to take a number of pictures that should give astronomers a better view of the body.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    nasa  |  astronomy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

De Allende's star burns bright
Boks were 'in a dark space'
Pacific island teams singled out for rough tactics?
Ireland favourites but France bullish
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal scenario...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.