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The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
This is a drawing showing the composition of the interior of Pluto.
Image from: NASA

What Pluto & Charon are made of

Pluto's atmosphere is mostly made of Nitrogen. That makes Pluto's atmosphere just like the Earth's (except much thinner)!

Pluto's interior is mostly made of different kinds of ice. That makes Pluto like other icy moons.

Deep inside Pluto are to be found the core, which is made of heavier, rocky molecules.

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Our online store includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology, rocks and minerals, oceanography, and Earth system science to astronomy!

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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A Look at Pluto's Atmosphere

It may seem hard to believe that Pluto could have an atmosphere because it is so cold, but it does. Because there are times when Pluto is closer to the sun than is Neptune (making it the 8th planet for...more

What Is a Mineral?

Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. There are many different types of minerals. All of them are solid and all are made of atoms of elements. Minerals can grow even though they are not alive. Most...more

Pluto's Interior

The diagram to the left shows what the inside of Pluto may look like. Pluto is mostly made of ice, with a small core of some rocky material buried inside. If the interior is warm enough, the inside of...more

Charon - Pluto's biggest moon

Charon is a moon of Pluto. Pluto has // Call the moon count function defined in the document head print_moon_count('pluto'); moons. Charon is much bigger than Pluto's other moons. James Christy discovered...more

Pluto & Charon, a double planet

Of all the planets and moons in the solar system, Pluto and Charon are the two which are the most alike. They are almost the same size, and they are very close together. Pluto and Charon are so close...more

Discovery of Pluto

Pluto is so far away, and has never been explored. Questions to answer about Pluto include the following: What are the geologic features of the surface? (pictures of the surface) If there are bare spots,...more

A Look at Pluto's possible Magnetosphere

No one knows whether or not Pluto has a magnetosphere. Scientists were very surprised to find that Jupiter's icy moon Ganymede had a magnetosphere because it is hard to explain how an icy body can develop...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF