Pluto Facts And Information

Some exciting facts show that Pluto is a ‘dwarf planet.’ Pluto is the tenth most-massive body known orbiting the sun.  It was known as the ninth dwarf planet from the sun.. I will explore Pluto Facts in the article below.

About – Pluto Facts

Pluto is a dwarf planet. Pluto Facts include that the wonderful Pluto, has an atmosphere.  It gets so cold when it moves away from the sun, it freezes and then as the dwarf planet warms up again, the atmosphere evaporates.  This forms a gas around it.  Pluto is made of rock and ice.  Interestingly, from its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was classified as a Planet.  In 2006 Pluto was added to the new category of ‘dwarf planet’ and was added to the list of minor planets and given a number.  Pluto has a diameter of around, 2,390 kilometres.

Five Known Moons – Pluto Facts

Pluto has five known moons.  Some exciting Pluto facts show that they are known as Charon, Nix and Hydra, Kerberos and Styx.  In 2015 the New Horizons spacecraft is due to look closely at Pluto when it will perform a flyby of the system.

In Orbit – Pluto Facts

Pluto’s orbital period is very long.  It takes 248 Earth Years.  Pluto has orbital characteristics which are different to other planets, which follow nearly circular orbits around the sun. A year in Pluto is equivalent to 248 earth years.   In contrast, Pluto’s orbit is highly eccentric (elliptical).  Some Pluto facts show that in the long term, Pluto’s orbit is chaotic.  Its orbital inclination is much higher than the other planets.

Rotation – Pluto Facts

Pluto’s rotation period, its day, is equal to 6.39 Earth Days.  Longer than that of any of the giant planets.  Pluto facts show that Pluto rotates on its side, on its orbital plane, with an axial tilt of 120 degrees celcius.  It is fascinating that Pluto rotates in the opposite direction from most other planets.

Mass, size and atmosphere – Pluto Facts

Pluto is so cold that 98 percent of its surface is made up of nitrogen ice.  Interestingly, Pluto’s volume is 0.6 percent that of the Earth. Pluto’s atmosphere consists of methane, nitrogen and carbon monoxide gases.  Some Pluto facts show that the presence of methane in Pluto’s atmosphere which is a powerful greenhouse gas creates a temperature inversion.  This wonderful dwarf planet has atmospheric gases that are frozen into ice.

Surface Temperature – Pluto Facts

Some interesting Pluto facts show that the surface temperature on Pluto varies between -235 and -210 degrees celcius.  And this shows that the warmer regions on this dwarf planet, Pluto, connect to the regions that appear darker in optical wavelengths.

To conclude Pluto facts show that this wonderful ‘dwarf planet’ presents many challenges for spacecraft because it has small mass and is a great distance from the earth.  Pluto can be seen with a telescope, but it simply is not that easy.  You would need detailed charts and some careful observations over many days to find it.  There are reliable charts that can be created with planetarium programmes.

Pluto Facts

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Pluto Facts

 

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