October 31, 2020

Fifty Years of Exploring Pluto: from Telescopes to the New Horizons Mission

Abstract: Pluto was discovered in 1930 at Lowell Observatory in the belated resumption of a wide-field photographic search originally be-gun at Percival Lowell’s direction prior to his death in 1916. Photometry in the 1950s established the rotation period of 6.4 hours and a color redder than the Sun, but the mass, density, size and albedo were unknown. Near-infrared photometry in 1976 indicated the presence of CH4 frost, suggestive of a relatively high surface albedo and a diameter comparable to the Mo…

Source:: nasa sit 2