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Your Chance to Name Pluto’s New Moons

Even though Pluto may have been officially kicked out of the major planet club, the number of moons orbiting the dwarf planet has increased by two in just the last couple of years.  And now astronomers need your help in naming these newly discovered moons. The naming contest for two of the tiniest satellites, measuring…

Why Classical Music Snubbed Pluto, Too

It’s been four years since the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ruled that Pluto is no longer a planet, and the subject remains almost as divisive as the political rumble over climate change. But it turns out that Pluto was creating kerfuffles almost from the moment it was discovered—even among world-reknowned composers. If [like me] you’re…

A Crater By Any Other Name

It’s been just over two weeks since the MESSENGER spacecraft swooped past Mercury during its second flyby of the innermost planet. Since the initial fervor, the MESSENGER team has been faithfully releasing images collected during the close encounter, some of which are providing data-hungry scientists with fodder for speculation about Mercury’s geologic processes. Today’s offering…