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1930 Feb 18
Planet X (Pluto), the ninth planet of our solar system, was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh (1907-1997) at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz. It is 2.76 billion miles (5,888 million km.) from the sun at the closest point of its orbit. Pluto was later designated a "dwarf planet."
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1930 Mar 13
The Lowell Observatory in Arizona announced Clyde Tombaugh’s Feb 18 discovery of a new planet, later named Pluto.
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1930 May 1
Pluto was first publicly announced as the name of a newly discovered planet. Venetia Phair (11) had suggested the name to her grandfather, librarian Falconer Madan, who relayed the suggestion to his friend Herbert Hall Turner, professor of astronomy at Oxford. Madan rewarded Phair (1919-2009) with a five-pound note. The same purchasing power in 2009 would be about 230 pounds, or $350.
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1978 Jun 22
James Christy, while working at the United States Naval Observatory, discovered that Pluto had a moon, which he named Charon.
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1979 Jan 21
Neptune became the outermost planet as Pluto moved closer due to their highly elliptical orbits.
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1983 Apr 25
The Pioneer 10 spacecraft crossed Pluto's orbit, speeding on its endless voyage through the Milky Way.
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1997 Jan 17
Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930, died in New Mexico.
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2005 Oct 31
It was reported that Pluto has three moons, not one, according to new images from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest. Pluto, discovered as the ninth planet in 1930, was thought to be alone until its moon Charon was spotted in 1978.
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2006 Jan 19
2015 Jul
NASA launched its New Horizons spacecraft on a mission to Pluto following a 2-day delay. Scientists won't be able to receive data on Pluto until at least July 2015, the earliest date the mission is expected to arrive.

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2006 Feb 1
The journal Nature reported that object UB313 is larger than Pluto according to German heat calculations.
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2006 Jun 21
It was reported that the pair of moons orbiting Pluto were officially christened Nix and Hydra last week by the International Astronomical Union, which is in charge of approving celestial names.
Links: Space, Pluto     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2006 Aug 24
Leading astronomers meeting in Prague declared that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.
Links: Czech Rep., Astronomy, Pluto     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2011 Jul 20
NASA said that the Hubble Space Telescope has found a 4th moon circling Pluto.
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2012 Jul 11
US astronomer Mark Showalter of the SETI Institute said he has detected a 5th moon around Pluto. Showalter used the Hubble Space Telescope and said the new moon, named P-5, is about 6-15 miles across.
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2013 Jul 2
The Int’l. Astronomical Union announced the names of Kerberos and Styx for two moons of Pluto.
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