Knowledge Articles | Everything about Pluto

Everything about Pluto

- Pluto was once considered to be one of the nine planets in the solar system. However it was removed from the list of planets and was demoted as a Dwarf Planet.

- Pluto was discovered in the year 1930 by an American astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh.

- It belongs to a group named Kuiper belt. Kuiper belt is a place where billions of small objects revolve around solar system.

- While scientists were giving much thought in giving a name to the newly discovered planet, Venetia Burney, an 11 year old girl from Oxford has suggested the name Pluto. Pluto is the name of Roman god for Underworld.

- Walt Disney seems to be inspired by the name Pluto. He named the pet dog of Mickey Mouse as Pluto.

- Pluto is known for a highly eccentric orbit which means that it is sometimes very close to sun and sometimes very far from it. It sometimes even gets past Neptune during such eccentric rotation.

- Pluto is one of the smallest objects in the Solar System. Its diameter is just 2,374 km and is smallest even than our moon which is 3,474 km in diameter.

- Pluto might be a very small planet. But it has 5 moons revolving around it. Charon is one of them. Though Charon is a moon of Pluto, it is almost half of its size. Most of the scientists believe than Charon at one time is a part of Pluto and has been thrown away due to a collusion that occurred on Pluto.

- Till the 21st century Pluto has been considered as one of the major planets in the solar system. But as scientists began to discover many other planets such Eris, astronomers began to frame new rules to define a planet.

- According to the new rules framed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006, a solar object should have three qualities to be qualified as a planet. 1- The object should orbit around the sun, 2- It should be round in shape, 3- It should be powerful enough to have a clear neighbourhood.

- Pluto failed to meet the third quality prescribed by the IAU and hence it has been demoted to a Dwarf Planet.

- As Pluto is really far from Sun, it takes almost 248 years for it to orbit around the sun. And a day on Pluto is almost equal to 6.39 days on earth.

- While the sunlight takes just eight minutes to reach the earth, it needs almost five hours to reach Pluto. As Pluto is such far from sun, the temperatures on its surface are really chilling. The average temperature on Pluto is estimated to be just..... -229 degrees Centigrade.