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SciTech Tuesday: All Things Pluto

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Ninety-eight years ago today the first images of Pluto were captured, confirming its existence as the ninth planet.  Named for the god of the underworld, Pluto was embraced by popular culture with Walt Disney’s introduction of Mickey Mouse’s canine companion in 1931.  Ten years later the newly isolated element 94 was named plutonium in honor of the celestial body along with uranium (element 92) and neptunium (element 93).

Operation Pluto was an enterprise spearheaded by British scientists to connect England and France with undersea oil pipelines.  An acronym for Pipe-Lines Under The Ocean, specially manufactured steel pipe traversed 70 nautical miles across the seafloor of the English Channel.  By V-E day, the PLUTO pipeline supplied over 172 million imperial gallons of gasoline to the Allied forces in Europe.

Post by Annie Tête, STEM Education Coordinator

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