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Whatever Happened to Pluto? Dr. Mike E. Brown, The Planet Hunter



Whatever Happened to Pluto? Dr. Mike E. Brown, The Planet Hunter
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.95

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    re-searching, trans-Neptune, presently, trans-Neptunian, quotation, planetary, formally, status, astronomy, fiction, purpose, solar, telescope, system, ninth, naturally
     content words:    Mike E., California Institute, Professor Brown, Mike Brown, Carl Sagan


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Whatever Happened to Pluto? Dr. Mike E. Brown, The Planet Hunter
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Once upon a time our solar system contained nine planets. It consisted of the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. In 2006 Pluto was demoted to "dwarf planet" status.
 
2     One of the people responsible for Pluto's demotion was Dr. Mike E. Brown. He is presently a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Brown is well known for his discoveries of objects at the edges of our solar system.
 
3     Astronomers call this area "trans-Neptune," which means any area in space beyond the planet Neptune. This trans-Neptunian area has been divided into three sections. They are called the Kuiper (pronounced KY per) belt, the scattered disk, and the Oort cloud. Objects found floating in this part of space are called trans-Neptunian objects, or TNOs.

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