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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?
Answer:
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.

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