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Fun Facts About Pluto

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Last updated date: 24th Feb 2024
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Overview of Pluto

As all of us are aware that we live on the planet Earth. But have you guys ever wondered where our planets come from, how many more planets are there, and which bigger body are they a part of? Let us begin with what planets are. A planet is a large celestial body that keeps on revolving around the Sun in its fixed orbit. There were a total of  9 planets in the Solar System: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. An important question is, is Pluto a planet? It was a planet, but in 2006, Pluto was removed from the list of 9 planets. Today, let us all gather some information and knowledge on this planet. Let’s learn more about Pluto, the size of Pluto, the moons of Pluto and much more.


The 9th Planet - Pluto


The 9th Planet - Pluto


Introduction of the Planet Pluto

Even though Pluto as a planet has always been in controversy and a topic of debate, how wonderful is it to know more about the last planet in our solar system? When Pluto was not named as a planet, scientists thought there was a planet beyond Neptune and named it Planet X. But in 1930, a young scientist found that planet Pluto is one of the largest known dwarf planets in our Solar System. It was the ninth planet and the farthest planet from the Sun.


The Coldest Planet


The Coldest Planet


Characteristics of Pluto

The characteristics of pluto are as follows:

  • Pluto is the coldest planet in the solar system as it is farthest from the Sun and gets very little energy and sunlight.

  • Pluto is comparatively a small planetoid and has a distinctive orbit around the Sun. 

  • All the planets that travel around the sun, have a round orbit but the orbit of Pluto is an egg or oval shape path.

  • Even when Pluto is closest to the Sun, it is still 2.8 billion miles away from the Sun. If it is farthest, then it is 5 billion miles away.

  • Sunlight takes 5 hours to reach Pluto, whereas it takes sunlight 8 minutes to reach Earth. 

  • The planet has mountains, valleys, and craters. 

  • Pluto is made up of a mantle of ice, which is largely nitrogen ice.

  • Nitrogen gas major constitutes Pluto’s surface and cannot support high mountain peaks. Therefore, scientists believe that mountains are formed on the water-ice beds.

  • It does not have any Ring System.



Internal Structure of Pluto


Internal Structure of Pluto


Interesting Facts About Pluto

Now, let’s have a look at some interesting facts about pluto:

  • Moons: The planet Pluto has 5 moons- Chaton, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra.

  • Diameter: It is about 1,473 miles (2.370 in diameter)

  • Distance From Sun: It is 3.5 billion miles from the sun. That is approximately 5-7.5 billion km.

  • Year: One year on Pluto is 248 years on Earth.

  • Day: One day on Pluto is around 6 ½ days and nights on Earth.

  • Average Temperature: It is minus 388 degrees Fahrenheit. (-233 degree C)


Mountains on the Planet


Mountains on The Planet


Amazing Fun Facts About Pluto

You will be amazed to learn the following details about Pluto. 

  • If you are standing on Pluto’s land, your weight will be 1/15th of your weight on Earth. If your weight on Earth is 100 pounds, then your weight will only be 7 pounds on Pluto.

  • To know the time to travel from Earth to Pluto, it will take a radio signal which is moving at the speed of light about 4 hours to reach Pluto.

  • Surprisingly, when Pluto is orbiting around the Sun, it crosses Neptune’s orbit. So, for about 20 years it is closer to Neptune than the Sun out of its 248 years. 

  • It is amazing how Pluto’s surface is much like Earth- a hard and rocky surface but still, there can be no life there. 

  • Did you know that the size of Pluto is even smaller than that of the Earth’s moon?

  • Strangely, Pluto rotates backwards. It moves from east to west and also rotates on its side.


Summary

From the above learning, we have learnt about the temperature and facts of pluto, we safely say that even though Pluto has been taken off the 9 planets, it is still being studied regularly by scientists. NASA had sent a robot spacecraft - New Horizons to Pluto, which landed there after 9 long years in 2015. With this modern technology, scientists are discovering new things about the planet and solar system as a whole. Walt Disney also named one of their characters Pluto, as Mickey Mouse’s friend. Even though scientists have disregarded it as a planet, many people still regard it as one of the 9 planets.

FAQs on Fun Facts About Pluto

1. Why was Pluto removed from the 9 planets?

Pluto was always a part of the 9 planets. But in 2006, when the International Astronomical Union gave a formal definition for a planet, Pluto could not qualify within the parameters of being a planet. A new name was given to the planet - “dwarf planet.”

2. From where did Pluto get its name?

Pluto got its name from the Roman Underworld God - Hades. The planet was named by an 11-year-old girl named Venetia Burney when there was a survey conducted to name the planet.

3. Who discovered the planet Pluto and when?

Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh, a young astronomer. It was discovered on February 18th, 1930.

4. What is a ring system?

A ring system is like a disc that orbits around planets or astronomical objects. It comprises substances like dust that move around larger planets. It is popularly known as the “planetary ring system.” Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune have a ring system.