It’s Pluto, Pluto!
Unless you’ve been travelling in outer-space for the past couple of days you must have almost certainly seen some of the first close-up images of PLUTO sent back by the New Horizons spacecraft from a distance of several billion miles.
Pluto was discovered in 1930 by the American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. Originally considered as the ninth planet from the Sun it was later reclassified as a dwarf planet.
Pluto orbits in a region of the Solar System beyond the planets now known the Kuiper Belt. This was named after the Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Kuiper who wrote an article about it for the Astrophysics science journal in … 1951.
People are already busy talking about the various features visible in this amazing image. Now when I look at this image I see a dog and a very special dog at that.
Scarey, isn’t it. Gets scarier. Pluto the dog is a cartoon character created by Walt Disney in … 1930. Yes, planet Pluto’s discovery and Pluto the dog’s creation came within just a short time of each other.
And just to keep things all neat and 1951-ish Pluto the dog starred in three films in 1951 :
- Cold Storage
- Cold Turkey
And in 1951, Pluto the planet was … well, doing what planets do best. Being there in orbit. And it takes 248 Earth years for Pluto to make just ONE complete of the Sun. All lonely and unloved until the day the cameras came.
Close up of Pluto showing mountains made of water-ice.
Charon : one of Pluto’s moons