This brings Pluto closer to Earth than Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun. The image of the right was taken on July 3, 2011. For 76 years, Pluto was considered a planet. This takes it closer to then further away from the sun. 4“Solar System Exploration: Pluto.” NASA. Visit our corporate site. On average, the dwarf planet cruises around the sun at a distance of 3.65 billion miles (5.87 billion km), taking 248 years to complete one circuit.. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 2008. Eleven-year-old Venetia Burney suggested the name Pluto. However, when astronomers discovered that it was just one of many large objects within the Kuiper belt, Pluto was renamed a “dwarf planet” in 2006. Pluto is so far away from Earth that everything we know about it can be written down on a couple of 3 x 5 inch index cards. © 2020 Fact Retriever LLC. Rather, it was big enough to have collapsed into a spheroid shape due to its own gravity. A luminous river of stars, the Milky Way both inspires and awes. On Pluto, the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, the exact opposite of what it does here on earth. Credit: NASSA. Intro. This is when the IAU formalised the … Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, This brings Pluto closer to Earth than Neptune, the eighth planet from the sun. The entire Pluto system has four small satellites (Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx) that orbit a “binary planet” that is composed of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon. American astronomers James Christy and Robert Harrington discover Pluto’s largest moon, Charon. When Pluto was discovered (by American Clyde Tombaugh in 1930), it was initially believed to be larger than Mercury, and possibly bigger than Earth. By using Newtonian mechanics, in 1840, the French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier discovered perturbations in the orbit of Uranus. Show some Plutonic love for the underdog with these interesting and surprising Pluto facts, including temperature range of the little planet, its color of sky, and much more. Don't worry, though, Pluto and Neptune won't collide . Finding Pluto: Tough Task, Even 75 Years Later, Solar System Exploration: Pluto vs. Earth. While Nix, Hydra and the two new finds are relatively small, Charon is about half as big as Pluto. Fascinating discovery – Planet X . 3.  Sunlight is almost 2,000 times dimmer on Pluto than it is on … Pluto is no more Pluto! From volcanoes to the deep blue oceans, discover the majesty of your world with these interesting Earth facts. February 8, 2012. Some you might already know, and others will be completely new. 1. A pair of small moons orbiting Pluto named Nix and Hydra were discovered by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in 2005. 27. At its warmest, Pluto can reach temperatures of minus 369 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 223 degrees Celsius) . For 20 years of its almost 248-year orbit, Pluto is closer to the. Now astronomers know that it's about 1,455 miles (2,352 kilometers) across less than 20 percent as big as our planet. (Dwarf planets are one type of astronomical object catalogued as an asteroid.). It is very thin and would be toxic for humans to breathe. NY 10036. But I also have some sympathy for Pluto because I heard it's been downgraded from a planet, and I think it should remain a planet. Live Science is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Baby, it's cold outside. Astronomers believe they may have formed at the same time Charon did, perhaps in the same large impact event. The two moons are roughly 5,000 times fainter than Pluto and are about two to three times farther from Pluto than its large moon, Charon, which was discovered in 1978. Pluto has an extremely elliptical orbit that's not in the same plane as the eight official planets' orbits. It is very thin and would be toxic for humans to breathe. Fact 11. Adventure through our interesting Mars facts to discover more about what makes Mars so special. Pluto's average distance from the Sun is 3,670,050,000 miles (5,906,380,000 kilometers), Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930; it was the first object to be discovered in what would later be identified as the Kuiper belt.  Unlike Pluto’s moons of Hydra and Nix, Charon is not oblong shaped. After its demotion from a Planet to a Dwarf Planet, Pluto achieved an official … Tombaugh was only 24 when he discovered it. Now it’s one of my favorite planet. 2Rao, Joe. Here are 10 interesting facts on Pluto. I've always liked Saturn. There was a problem. 2. When Pluto is at its perihelion (closest to the. Pluto is tiny, only about half the width of the United States . Spectroscopy: this technique of analysis of light is used to uncover strange and unknown facts about Pluto. Once seen up close, Pluto's surface could turn out to have cold-liquid-belching cryovolcanoes or geysers. Scientists think the dwarf planet is about 70 percent rock and 30 percent ice. 3Sexton, Colleen A. Pluto. Peer into our interesting Milky Way facts to learn about our amazing and beautiful galaxy. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. Pluto is closer to the sun than Neptune. It takes Pluto 6 days, 9 hours, and 17 minutes to spin once, making it the planet with the second-slowest rotation in the solar system. This implies that Pluto is periodically closer to the Sun than the Planet Neptune. New York, It's strange orbit means that, for a few years at a time, Pluto's orbit overlaps with Neptune's. It is scheduled to arrive in 2015. Well, these facts about Pluto has impressed me a lot. Not an atmosphere as we know it, but an atmosphere, none the less. Megalodon nurseries reveal world’s largest shark had a soft side, Whodunit solved when 'sword' is found embedded in thresher shark, Physicists could do the 'impossible': Create and destroy magnetic fields from afar, Banned in 160 Nations, Why is Ractopamine in U.S. Pork? Its surface is covered predominantly with nitrogen ice. Pluto is approximately 4.6 billion years old, about the same age as the rest of the solar system. The Disney character Pluto, a dog, is said to have been named after the former planet.