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Planetary Science

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Pluto

The International Astronomical Union’s vote in 2006 to demote Pluto to dwarf planet status merely created “the illusion of scientific consensus,” according to a recent paper.

Saturn moons and simulated moons

SPITTING IMAGE  Simulated collisions between two moonlets can lead to oddly shaped moons (bottom row) that closely resemble some of Saturn’s moons (top row; from left to right: Pan, Atlas and Prometheus).

farside of the moon

NEXT STOP  China’s relay satellite will support a future mission to the farside of the moon, photographed here in 2014 by an earlier Chinese satellite called Chang’e-5T1. 

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