Q&A on the News

Q: The AJC ran an article that stated Pluto and its moons were involved in kind of a rhythmic dance. This was new information. Do astronomers know why this happens?

—Paula Pounds, Stone Mountain

A: Pluto and its largest moon, Charon, have a common center of gravity, but Charon is a large moon compared with the size of Pluto.

That means the barycenter, or center of the mass of the two objects, is outside of Pluto.

That makes Pluto wobble as Charon orbits around it, “like a pair of figure skaters clasping hands,” NASA states on its website.

It’s believed Pluto and Charon were created by a “cosmic collision,” NASA states.

New Horizons, an unmanned spacecraft, is helping scientists learn more about Pluto and the outer reaches of the solar system.

Q: I wanted to find out if Ed Schultz from “The Ed Show” from MSNBC is still on?

—Alice Rodgers, Woodstock

A: “The Ed Show” was one of three shows canceled by MSNBC at the end of July as the network moves toward news-based afternoon programming.

Schultz, who had been with MSNBC since 2009, is leaving the network.

“I’m going to miss it, no doubt about it,” he said in a video message at MSNBC.com. “I will move on to do different things on other platforms.”

“The Cycle” and “Now With Alex Wagner” also were cancelled.

“Change can be hard,” network president Phil Griffin wrote in a staff memo published by the New York Times. “There’s no doubt it’s been a difficult time, but we have exciting opportunities ahead.”

Andy Johnston with Fast Copy News Service wrote this column. Do you have a question about the news? We’ll try to get the answer. Call 404-222-2002 or email q&a@ajc.com (include name, phone and city).

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