Kuiper belt

Astronomer Gerard Kuiper

Astronomer Gerard Kuiper

On December 7, 1905, Dutch-American astronomer Gerard Peter Kuiper was born. Considered by many to be the father of modern planetary science, Kuiper is the eponymous namesake of the Kuiper belt, a region of the Solar System beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune (at 30 AU) to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. Kuiper also discovered Miranda, a moon of Uranus, and Nereid, a moon of Neptune. Gerard Kuiper is…
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The Discovery of Charon

The Discovery of Charon

On June 22, 1978, US astronomer James Christie discovered Charon, the largest moon of Pluto. Although there was a discussion after the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf, Charon is not in the list of dwarf planets currently recognized by the IAU. On June 22, 1978,  John Christy had examined the magnified images of the former planet Pluto, taken with the 61-inch Flagstaff telescope two months prior. He noticed a periodically appearing elongation, which…
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