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By Scott Dance | July 11, 2012
Pluto may not be a full-fledged planet, but it has five moons, astronomers have discovered. The fifth one is 6 to 15 miles wide and circles the dwarf planet in a 58,000-mile orbit, according to a research team that includes one scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel. The moon is, for now, being called S/2012 (134340) 1. It was detected in nine separate sets of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 since June 26. The fact that a dwarf planet like Pluto can have so many moons is intriguing to scientists, according to NASA officials.
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NEWS
By Scott Dance | July 11, 2012
Pluto may not be a full-fledged planet, but it has five moons, astronomers have discovered. The fifth one is 6 to 15 miles wide and circles the dwarf planet in a 58,000-mile orbit, according to a research team that includes one scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel. The moon is, for now, being called S/2012 (134340) 1. It was detected in nine separate sets of images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 since June 26. The fact that a dwarf planet like Pluto can have so many moons is intriguing to scientists, according to NASA officials.
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NEWS
By ORLANDO SENTINEL | January 18, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. -- NASA will try again today to launch its New Horizons spacecraft on a nine-year journey to Pluto, with a planned 1:16 p.m. liftoff from Cape Canaveral. A launch attempt was canceled yesterday because of high winds, and forecasters are calling for a 70 percent chance of good conditions today. Isolated thunderstorms and high winds are the main concerns. The $700 million mission has until Feb. 14 to launch. If all goes well, the spacecraft will fly near Pluto in 2015 and gather the first close-up images and data on the icy world.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | October 18, 2011
Andrew A. "Andy" Dantzler, an optical engineer who was program area manager for civilian space at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, died Thursday of cardiac arrest at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The longtime Sykesville resident was 49. The son of a federal government worker and a counselor, Andrew A. Dantzler was born in Bethesda and raised in Rockville, where he graduated in 1980 from Robert E. Peary High School. After earning a bachelor's degree in astronomy and physics in 1984 from the University of Maryland, College Park, he went to work as an optical engineer at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.
NEWS
By Tom Dunkel and Tom Dunkel,Sun Staff | August 25, 2006
"I feel like I lost my job. I feel like I've been fired," Patricia Tombaugh says with a nervous laugh. No one on Earth was more directly affected by the news that Pluto had been busted in rank to a "minor" planet by the International Astonomical Union: Her late husband, Clyde, discovered that gigantic, orbiting ice ball on Feb. 18, 1930. Patricia, age 93, admits the Tombaughs prided themselves on being "Pluto's papa and mama." Suddenly, their beloved child doesn't walk quite so tall in the eyes of the scientific community.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,Sun Reporter | September 8, 2006
Calling it "the best news any Pluto fan could hope for," scientists working on NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto have been cheered this month by the first images from their spacecraft's high-resolution camera. All seven instruments on the mission - the one intended to produce the first close look at the "dwarf planet" in 2015 - have proven they are working as expected. The fastest spacecraft ever built, New Horizons is 322 million miles from the sun, moving through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter at 14.45 miles per second.
NEWS
By Kurt Ullrich | September 6, 2006
MAQUOKETA, Iowa -- Shed no tears for erstwhile planet Pluto. As everyone knows by now, the International Astronomical Union recently concluded its triennial General Assembly in Prague. The assembled scientists talked of many things, such as "Precession Theory and Definition of the Ecliptic" and "Redefinition of Barycentric Dynamical Time TBD." The conference attendees likely also discussed weightier matters, such as "the Best Place in Prague for Wurst and Beer," but we'll never read about that one. We know they discussed "Definition of Planet."
NEWS
By ROBYN SHELTON and ROBYN SHELTON,ORLANDO SENTINEL | January 20, 2006
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The fastest spacecraft ever created is speeding toward the solar system's most distant planet, where it will study Pluto, its moon and the icy objects in the nearby Kuiper Belt. The $700 million New Horizons was developed and built at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and will be controlled from the mission operations center on its Howard County campus near Laurel. A Lockheed Martin Atlas V rocket blasted off yesterday at 2 p.m. from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, launching New Horizons on the start of its 3 billion-mile journey.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,Evening Sun Staff | October 5, 1990
Scientists working to make the most out of the flawed Hubble Space Telescope have offered a series of striking photographs as proof that Hubble is still working well enough to produce "frontier science."The images -- all of them improved by computer enhancement -- include the sharpest picture ever of the planet Pluto and its moon; a beautiful color image of Saturn, and unequaled pictures of galactic cores, gas jets and globular star clusters."To convey the joy of seeing what we are seeing is difficult," said Riccardo Giacconi, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
NEWS
By DENNIS O'BRIEN and DENNIS O'BRIEN,SUN REPORTER | November 1, 2005
Scientists using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found that Pluto has not one, but three moons. The discovery is likely to prompt searches for undiscovered moons elsewhere and shed light on the evolution of the Kuiper Belt, the vast icy region of space beyond Neptune where Pluto resides. "Pluto just became even more interesting," said Hal Weaver, a planetary scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel and co-leader of the team that made the discovery. The newly discovered moons are constantly being pelted by objects in space, sending out debris that gives Pluto an unusual appearance, researchers say. "They should generate rings around Pluto," said the team's other co-leader, Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.
FEATURES
Susan Reimer | October 28, 2010
In my house, everyone is the center of his or her own universe, while I am not much more than a non-planet planet, like Pluto, or a gas-bag planet, like Saturn. That is never more evident than when I am under attack, and the people I love most hesitate to fly to my defense or to comfort me without first checking their personal agendas. They might as well ask, "How is this about me?" Recently, a number of angry readers chose to disagree with me by mocking my appearance and commenting on my relative attractiveness to the opposite sex. Not exactly the high road in political discourse — and not exactly a grown-up one, either.
NEWS
By Frank Roylance and Sun Reporter // Weather Blogger | December 27, 2009
O n Tuesday, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft will be closer to Pluto than to Earth. The $700 million mission was designed and is managed by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab . Launched in 2006, the craft is now traveling at 36,900 miles an hour relative to the sun. It's due to pass Uranus' orbit in 2011, Neptune's in August 2014. It will speed by Pluto in July 2015, the first craft from Earth ever to visit the icy world and its moons - Charon, Hydra and Nix. > Read Frank Roylance's blog on MarylandWeather.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,frank.roylance@baltsun.com | September 7, 2008
Alice Bowman is the mission operations manager (M.O.M.) for NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, now on course for a rendezvous with the (former) planet Pluto in 2015. It's her job to watch over the health of the spacecraft, to manage continuing upgrades and changes to the software for its support systems and scientific instruments during its nine-year voyage across the solar system. From the mission control room at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory near Laurel, she and her team receive weekly signals from New Horizons reporting that all is well or, on occasion, that something needs their attention.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN REPORTER | August 15, 2008
It was billed as a debate over the 2006 decision by the International Astronomical Union that kicked Pluto out of the family of planets, leaving just eight. But in the end, after a jocular and noisy tussle before scientists and educators gathered at the Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, both debaters agreed that the IAU's definition only muddied the waters, and that more time is needed for science to sort out the increasingly complex range of objects circling our sun and other stars.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN REPORTER | October 10, 2007
Like Columbus cruising the Canary Islands en route to the New World, the Maryland-run New Horizons spacecraft got a close look at Jupiter last February on its way to a 2015 first date with the dwarf planet Pluto. Data from the flyby, to be reported in this week's edition of the journal Science, provide new glimpses of the bizarre Jovian system - including eruptions on the volcanic moon Io that hurl a ton of sulfur dioxide into space every second, and huge belches of electrically charged particles that break from Jupiter's grip like blobs in a lava lamp.
FEATURES
August 24, 2007
Aug. 24 410 Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, an event that symbolized the fall of the Roman Empire. 2006 The International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to "dwarf planet" status.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | October 8, 2002
On the frozen outskirts of the solar system, astronomers have discovered an orbiting object half the size of Pluto, the biggest find since the ninth planet was discovered in 1930. They've named it Quaoar (KWAH-oh-war), after a California Indian creation deity. It's about one-tenth the size of Earth and orbits the sun every 288 years. Quaoar is not a planet - it's a "Kuiper Belt object," a member of a distant realm that's just beginning to be explored. Besides being nearly unpronounceable, this newcomer is creating an awkward situation in the solar system.
NEWS
By FRANK D. ROYLANCE and FRANK D. ROYLANCE,SUN REPORTER | January 16, 2006
Mankind's first mission to the planet Pluto, a marathon 9 1/2 -year voyage across the solar system, appears set for launch tomorrow from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. If it's still working, the unmanned New Horizons spacecraft and its suite of seven scientific instruments should soar past the icy planet and its three moons in the summer of 2015, beaming back a wealth of scientific data from the solar system's most elusive and mysterious planet. If more funding is approved while it's on the way, New Horizons might then be sent to explore the dark and icy realm of the Kuiper Belt beyond.
NEWS
August 21, 2007
This is one task the political science textbooks obviously didn't address: What do you do when the dictator you deposed and imprisoned comes up on his release date? The answer, in regard to Manuel Noriega, tells as much about the process of nation-building in Latin America as it does international justice. The fact that Panama is not clamoring to bring Mr. Noriega back suggests Panamanian democracy, almost 20 years after the U.S. invasion and ouster of Mr. Noriega, remains shaky. If Panamanian institutions were strong and formidable, Mr. Noriega would be going home to face justice, and Panama would be ready to face up to its past.
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