> News story > Discussion questions > Answer 1

Question 1:
The time between the discovery of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, was almost 50 years. What do you think are the reasons for this long gap between discoveries?
Student answers will vary. Their answers may include the following:
  • Telescopes were not large enough to detect distant solar-system objects like Charon.
  • Astronomers did not have effective techniques to search for Charon.
  • Telescope technology could not track the planet.
  • Telescopes did not have the resolution to separate close objects such as Charon and Pluto.

    Note: It was not until Hubble’s observation of the Pluto-Charon system in 1990 that Charon was seen as a clearly separate object from Pluto.

<< Back to discussion questions