Calculating Pluto’s Mass With Snapshots From New Horizons

As the New Horizons spacecraft is approaching Pluto, it’s getting some great shots. The animation below shows Pluto and Charon as they orbit each other. When a planet (or dwarf planet) has a satellite, you can use the motion of that object to find the mass of the planet. It’s not too difficult.

Calculating Pluto’s Mass With Snapshots From New Horizons

Advertisements