Pluto is one of the more controversial space-related topics, it was a planet for years and then was changed to a dwarf planet. There was a debate for years about the ‘planet’
The debate came to a head in August 2006, with an IAU resolution that created an official definition for the term “planet”. According to this resolution, there are three conditions for an object in the Solar System to be considered a planet:
- The object must be in orbit around the Sun.
- The object must be massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity. More specifically, its own gravity should pull it into a shape defined by hydrostatic equilibrium.
- It must have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit
Its mass is substantially less than the combined mass of the other objects in its orbit
Pluto was discovered on February 18th, 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.
Pluto was classified as a planet for 75 years.
It is the first Kuiper Belt object to be discovered.
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified from a planet to a dwarf planet.
The planet is named for Pluto, the Roman god of the underworld.
Pluto has five known moons.
The moons are Charon, Hydra, Nix, Kerberos, and Styx.
Pluto and Charon are both made up of rock and ice.
Charon has around half the size of Pluto’s diameter.
Dwarf planets are smaller than Mercury.
Its surface varies in both brightness and color.
Pluto is smaller than Jupiter’s four largest moons.
Pluto’s average distance from the Sun is 3,665 million miles.
Pluto’s year is 246 Earth years.
For 20 years of its orbit, Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune.
Pluto’s diameter is 1,445 miles across.
Pluto has a radius of 1,185 kilometers.
A day on Pluto is 6.4 Earth days.
The Earth is 456 times bigger than Pluto.
The average surface temperature of Pluto is -378F.
Pluto is one-third water.
Pluto doesn’t seem to have a magnetic field.
Pluto has no rings.
Pluto’s core is predicted to be around 70% of its total diameter.
Pluto has been visited by one spacecraft, New Horizons.
Pluto has mountains, valleys, and craters.
The atmosphere of Pluto is similar to a comet.
The atmosphere is consistent with nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide.
The atmosphere only appears when Pluto is closest to the sun.
The element plutonium was named after Pluto.
Pluto is half the width of the United States.
the light from the Sun reaches Pluto in about 5.5 hours.