Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

Objects beyond the orbit of Neptune, including Pluto and its moon.

Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) orbit relatively near the plane of the orbits of the planets.

The definition of a "planet" and the controversy over the status of Pluto

May 14, 2011
"A thin shell of ice formed by a continuous cycle of heating and freezing gives Haumea, a distant dwarf planet discovered in 2004, its distinctive glimmer in deep space. Astronomers knew Haumea had a frosty coating, but they didn't know it was made of fresh, highly organized crystals instead of old, amorphous glasslike ice."
Apr 22, 2011
"Pluto's atmosphere has been a subject of fascination for planetary astronomers since -- well, since astronomers first discovered that it had an atmosphere in the early '90s."
Apr 20, 2011
"See images and illustrations of the dwarf planet Pluto and its three moons."
Apr 20, 2011
"Astronomers have discovered carbon monoxide gas in the atmosphere of Pluto. Pluto is the only 'dwarf planet' known to have an atmosphere, and it appears that it may have grown in size over the last decade."
Apr 20, 2011
"The latest measurements of Pluto's tenuous atmosphere indicate that it may be shaped into a comet-like tail, say astronomers."
Mar 30, 2011
"Revisiting the trials and tribulations of the former planet, a favorite of schoolchildren that was demoted in 2006 to dwarf planet status."
Jan 15, 2011
The moon Vanth turns out to be in fact smaller than Orcus
Jan 12, 2011
"Orcus, if you haven't heard of it before, is probably the seventh largest known trans-Neptunian object, and Vanth is its satellite."
Jan 11, 2011
"Now, researchers say that the rival to Pluto that was discovered six years ago is actually smaller than Pluto."
Dec 6, 2010
"'How I Killed Pluto'is a short, eager-to-please research memoir on the rise and fall of the planet Pluto."