4Guess the Covered Word Reading Strategy StartWhere is the word? Beginning, middle, or end of the sentence? What about grammatical cues?ThinkWhat makes sense?LookHow long is the word?ListenLetters, suffixes, prefixes, syllables known “little words”
6Pluto used to be considered one of the nine planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and little Pluto. As of 2006, after a vote of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), it is now considered a dwarf planet instead of a regular planet like Earth, Mars, and the others. This seems like a demotion from a “big” planet to a “little” planet, but scientist are just trying to put it in a category with other similar space objects.
9Pluto’s AtmosphereIts atmosphere is not like ours, but it does have a thin one. It is made up of nitrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide. During its orbit around the sun, its atmosphere goes through a freezing and evaporating cycle. When it is far away from the Sun, its atmosphere gets so cold that it freezes onto Pluto’s surface. When it orbits closer to the Sun, the atmosphere warms up and evaporates again, forming a gas around it.
10Pluto’s MoonsPluto has three moons. Earth only has one. Pluto’s moons are named Charon, Nix, and Hydra. Charon is the biggest one and is half the size of Pluto. A moon is a natural satellite in space that orbits around the planet. Some planets have only one moon and others have sixty or more!
11Cluttered OrbitOne reason Pluto was “demoted” to dwarf planet status is because it has not “cleared its orbit” of large debris. If added all together, all of the “stuff” in its orbit would be bigger than Pluto. In comparison, Earth’s orbit does not have as much large debris. If you could compile all of the debris in Earth’s orbit, Earth would still be 1.5 million times larger.
12Named after WHO?Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld. Charon, its moon, was named after the ferryman in the underworld that took souls across the river Styx. Pluto was actually named Planet X at first, but the discoverers needed to come up with a more permanent name. An eleven year old girl suggested the name Pluto, because she said that it was dark and cold like the underworld in Roman mythology.
13Pluto and Neptune switch-a-roo Pluto is a long distance from the Sun. It takes it almost 248 years to revolve around it, but in only takes Earth one year. It is located behind Neptune in relation to the Sun. However, its orbit looks like a tilted oval, and there is part of it that actually crosses inside Neptune’s orbit. During this time, Pluto is closer to the sun than Neptune. This happened in 1979 and again in It will happen another time in a couple hundred years!
15Pluto is SmallPluto is smaller than all of the planets. It is even smaller than some of the other planet’s moons! Seven moons are larger than Pluto. It is the second largest dwarf planet.
16Pluto… here we come!NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft is traveling to Pluto right now. It launched in 2005 and is expected to get there in Hopefully after the exploration, we will know even more about the interesting dwarf planet we call Pluto.
17References Universe Today Interesting Facts About Pluto by Fraser Cain Accessed on October 15, 2009