Overview: Pluto's Growing Family

Overview
of Star Witness news story: Pluto's Growing Family
Description:
Star Witness news story: Pluto's Growing Family explains the discovery and confirmation of an additional small moon for Pluto, giving this dwarf planet five moons. This information can be used to introduce the idea of exploration of the solar system and astronomers' efforts to understand how it formed. This selection is an adaptation of the HubbleSite press release: Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto.
Format(s) available: Printer-friendly web page; also, downloadable PDF, including story and images
Grades: 5-8, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher’s discretion
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use Star Witness news: Pluto's Growing Family as:

A content reading selection. Teachers should discuss the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary prior to having students read the selection.

An engagement activity. Have students read the selection. Ask them how technology helped astronomers find Pluto's new moon.

An inquiry tool. Propose a question, such as "What have astronomers learned by studying Pluto with the Hubble Space Telescope?" Have students read the selection and write down questions they would like answered as a result of the reading.

A source of information. Have students read the selection. Conduct a class discussion using the questions associated with the reading to clarify student understanding and expand on the information provided.

Related materials

Star Witness news: New Moons for Pluto!

Star Witness news: New Horizons: A Pluto-bound Spacecraft Gets a Boost From Jupiter

HubbleSite press release: Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto



Overview: Pluto's Growing Family