Interesting Information About Pluto

In 2006, a group of 2,500 scientists concluded that Pluto is not a planet, after researching the official definition of the word “Planet”.

Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930.

Pluto is a cold dwarf planet located at the very edge of our solar system. It takes sunlight five and a half hours to reach Pluto, which is much longer than the eight minutes it takes to reach Earth.

Pluto is only about two-thirds the size of our moon and has a surface temperature of -233°C. Nitrogen and oxygen are frozen solid on the planet’s surface, making it uninhabitable.

It takes Pluto 247.9 Earth years to orbit the Sun once, and sometimes it goes inside Neptune’s orbit. The planet completes a full rotation every 6.8 days.

Pluto is about 5.9 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) away from the Sun and has a diameter of 2,360 kilometers. Its moon, Charon, is roughly half the size of Pluto. Additionally, the Hubble Space Telescope discovered two other moons, Nix and Hydra, which are named after Greek mythology figures.

Is Pluto Considered a Planet?

Pluto is not a planet. In August 2006, the 2,500 scientists researching the official definition of the word “Planet” concluded that Pluto failed to dominate its orbit around the Sun in the same way as other planets. Additionally, Pluto’s size is not big enough to be considered a planet, so it is classified as a dwarf planet.

If Pluto were considered a planet, there would be an additional 44 planets in our solar system. However, with Pluto’s classification as a dwarf planet, it will not be categorized as one of the main planets in the solar system in books.

The exact definition of a Planet, as agreed by the 2,500 scientists, is that it must be in orbit around the Sun, have a nearly round shape, and have cleared its orbit of other objects.

Aside from its classification, Pluto is also known for sharing its name with a Disney dog.

FAQ

What is Pluto?

Pluto is a dwarf planet located in the Kuiper Belt, a region of the Solar System that contains many small, icy objects beyond the orbit of Neptune. It was discovered in 1930 by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh and was considered the ninth planet until 2006 when the International Astronomical Union reclassified it as a dwarf planet.

What is Pluto made of?

Pluto is primarily composed of rock and ice, with a solid surface that is covered in a layer of frozen nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. It has a thin atmosphere that is mostly nitrogen and some methane and carbon monoxide.

How far away is Pluto from the Sun?

Pluto’s distance from the Sun varies due to its highly elliptical orbit, but on average, it is about 3.7 billion miles (5.9 billion kilometers) away. At its closest approach to the Sun, it can be as close as 2.7 billion miles (4.3 billion kilometers) and at its farthest, it can be as far as 4.7 billion miles (7.5 billion kilometers) away.

Has anyone visited Pluto?

No, no spacecraft has ever visited Pluto until NASA’s New Horizons mission in July 2015. The spacecraft flew past Pluto and took detailed images and measurements of the dwarf planet and its moons. It took approximately 9.5 years for New Horizons to reach Pluto and it continues to explore the Kuiper Belt region.

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