Pluto is the second closest dwarf planet to the Sun and also the largest one. It was discovered on February 18, 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory. It was once considered the ninth planet in the solar system. As a planet, Pluto was the most distant planet from the Sun.
It was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. It has a diameter of 1,473 miles which is less than one-fifth of the Earth’s diameter. It takes about 246.04 earth years to orbit the Sun.
Quick Facts: –
- Pluto has got its name from the Roman god of the underworld, the Roman alternative for the Greek god Hades.
- Pluto is the largest dwarf planet, Eris is the second largest.
- Objects in the solar system that are rounded and orbit the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune are known as Plutoid.
- The sunlight takes more than 3 hours to reach the New Horizons mission flying to Pluto.
- It is believed that this dwarf is made up of 50–70% rock and 30–50% ice by mass.
- Currently, it has an atmosphere which is too thin to allow liquids to flow. In the ancient past, they may have streamed along the surface.
- It has a total of five moons which are Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra.
- Pluto and its largest moon Charon are actually a binary system. It is the only binary system we’ve directly observed.
- Its orbit around the sun is unusual compared to the planets as it is both elliptical and tilted.
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