Pluto is a dwarf planet and the ninth largest object in our solar system. The facts about Pluto are interesting because it’s so far away from Earth, yet we still have some facts that are amazing and surprising!
Here we will cover facts about Pluto such as where the name came from, distance to Earth, differences between Pluto and Earth, fun facts as well as scientific facts. If you’re interested in learning more about this fascinating planet then read on!
Facts About The Planet Pluto
Pluto is the most distant planet from Earth. It orbits the Sun once every 248 years, and takes about 6,387 days to do so. Pluto was not always considered a planet but it was reclassified as one in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
On July 14, 2015 NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft completed the first in-depth reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons. This historic flyby was made possible by a courageous team that never gave up on their dream to explore our solar system.
- Pluto is a dwarf planet. It has not been given the status of a full-fledged planet because it does not meet two criteria that are needed to be classified as such – an orbit around our Sun and being large enough to form itself into a sphere by its own gravitational force. The IAU, however, decided in 2006 that “a clear definition for planethood” did not exist so they reclassified Pluto under planetary objects.
- When we compare Earth with Pluto we will find some interesting facts about this distant world! For example, while both contain nitrogen (an element which makes up 78% of the atmosphere on earth) people living there would need space suits because their air is 100x thinner.
- Another major difference between Earth and Pluto is the temperature. We know that our planet has an average of 59 degrees Fahrenheit, but Pluto is much colder with a range between -321 and -233 degrees Fahrenheit!
- The fact that it’s so far from Earth means scientists have to use complicated measurements and calculations in order to get any information about the planet (like facts about Pluto). For example, we know how wide Pluto is because light takes just over five hours to travel there from earth. That’s why most facts about this distant world are best used for space science research or articles like this one on facts about pluto!
- The planet Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld!
- Pluto is much smaller than Earth, but it’s still larger and more massive. It has a radius of around 1134 miles (compared to an earth radius of 3968 miles).
- Its atmospheric pressure at its surface is over two times greater than that of the earth! And you might be wondering: how can there be any atmosphere on this cold planet? Well, scientists believe that some gases from inside Pluto may rise up to the outer crust and freeze onto liquid particles in order to create an icy atmosphere. That said, facts about Pluto show us what we don’t know – like most facts about distant worlds for research.
Pluto Dwarf Planet Facts
- The difference between water here on Earth and water on Pluto is based on facts about Pluto! On Earth, water is made of hydrogen and oxygen with a ratio of two to one. In facts about Pluto there are more ices than gases meaning that the atmosphere consists primarily of nitrogen (78%), methane (21%) and carbon monoxide (0).
- Even though it has similarities with facts about earth like facts about Planet Mercury or facts on Mars, there are still lots of differences between these worlds – in terms of what they have experienced over their long history. These details show us how much we don’t know when it comes to distant planets as well as our own world’s mysteries.
- One clue for understanding facts on Pluto may be found by looking at facts on other planets within our solar system such as craters and planetary surfaces, as they can prove facts about Pluto facts like facts on Mars, facts on Mercury or facts on Jupiter.
- This is because the surface of Pluto has been shaped by a process called cratering, which includes smashing and scraping rock into small bits until they form a flat surface again.
- Cratering also helps to create landscapes that are dominated by low hills (called mesas), mountains (called peaks) and plains where these features meet.
- What we can learn from craters may teach us more about how planets evolve over time as well as what happens when one planet crashes into another in space – such as with comet Shoemaker Levy crashing into Jupiter’s moons in 1994 – it created huge waves of impacts at those points!