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New Gene Fights Potato Blight
Middle school science adventures
Flush-Free Fertilizer
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Frogs and Toads
Toads
Salamanders and Newts
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Stunts for High-Diving Ants
Mating Slows Down Prairie Dogs
Vent Worms Like It Hot
Behavior
Newly named fish crawls and hops
Lightening Your Mood
Two monkeys see a more colorful world
Birds
Waterfowl
Quails
Flightless Birds
Chemistry and Materials
The solar system's biggest junkyard
The science of disappearing
The newest superheavy in town
Computers
The science of disappearing
Supersonic Splash
A Classroom of the Mind
Dinosaurs and Fossils
The bug that may have killed a dinosaur
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
Meet the new dinos
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2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
Earth
Slower Growth, Greater Warmth
Hot Summers, Wild Fires
Rocking the House
Environment
Giant snakes invading North America
Nanosponges Soak Up Pollutants
City Trees Beat Country Trees
Finding the Past
Childhood's Long History
Prehistoric Trips to the Dentist
The Puzzle of Ancient Mariners
Fish
Eels
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Seahorses
Food and Nutrition
Building a Food Pyramid
The mercury in that tuna
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Adjectives and Adverbs
Problems with Prepositions
Capitalization Rules
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GSAT Exam Preparation
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The Annual GSAT Scholarships
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GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Mathematics
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
How to Slice a Cake Fairly
Human Body
Foul Play?
Football Scrapes and Nasty Infections
Music in the Brain
Invertebrates
Scorpions
Grasshoppers
Fleas
Mammals
Minks
Scottish Folds
Pugs
Parents
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Children and Media
Physics
Powering Ball Lightning
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
Dreams of Floating in Space
Plants
White fuzzy mold not as friendly as it looks
Springing forward
Bright Blooms That Glow
Reptiles
Black Mamba
Iguanas
Geckos
Space and Astronomy
Pluto's New Moons
World of Three Suns
Phantom Energy and the Big Rip
Technology and Engineering
Slip Sliming Away
Musclebots Take Some Steps
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
The Parts of Speech
What is a Noun
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Robots on a Rocky Road
Ready, unplug, drive
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Weather
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Arctic Melt
Catching Some Rays
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Pluto's New Moons

The first time that you learn about the planets, it all seems so simple. There are nine of them, including Earth. All orbit the sun. Then, you learn about moons, and things get a little more complicated. Moons orbit planets. We have one. Saturn has more than 45. As soon as you've memorized the planet lessons in your textbook, however, you've got more work to do. The Hubble Space Telescope has just spotted two more moons around Pluto, adding to the one we already knew about. If the finding is true, astronomers will have to rethink what they know about the planet and about the Kuiper belt—a collection of small, icy objects that lingers way out on the edge of our solar system. Until now, scientists had supposed that Pluto had just one moon, called Charon. This object follows an orbit 19,600 kilometers (12,200 miles) from the planet and measures 1,270 kilometers (790 miles) across. Charon is about half as wide as Pluto. The new moons have been named S/2005 P1 and S/2005 P2. The first one lies about 48,000 kilometers (30,000 miles) from Pluto and has an estimated diameter of 56 kilometers (35 miles). The second lies about 64,000 kilometers (39,800 miles) from Pluto and has a diameter of about 48 kilometers (30 miles). For every 12 times that Charon goes around Pluto, it looks like S/2005 P1 goes around 3 times, while S/2005 P2 goes around twice. Based on this information, scientists suspect that the moons formed at the same time that Charon formed, when some massive object smashed into Pluto soon after the planet's birth 4.5 billion years ago. Chunks that flew off in the collision then became moons when they were trapped by the planet's gravity. More observations are needed to confirm that the two objects actually orbit Pluto, but astronomers have reason to believe that they do. The same two objects also appear in pictures taken by Hubble 3 years ago. After finishing with your textbook, keep watching the news. It's the only way to keep up with our constantly changing map of outer space.—E. Sohn

Pluto's New Moons
Pluto's New Moons








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