121 Pluto Facts To Know About The Former Planet | Kidadl


121 Pluto Facts To Know About The Former Planet

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Pluto is a dwarf planet that is located in the Kuiper belt, beyond the orbit of Neptune. 

Pluto is the second-largest dwarf planet. It is also one of the second closest dwarf planets to the sun and was earlier recognized as the ninth planet of the solar system.

This icy former celestial body is a donut-shaped region and consists of many icy objects that are also referred to as Kuiper Belt objects and trans-Neptunian objects. Its surface is made up of various gases. The dwarf planet Pluto is also very much smaller than Earth's moon and also consists of a heart-shaped glacier. If we talk about Pluto's world, it consists of pretty mountains, spinning moons, blue skies, and surprisingly red snow. This dwarf planet was discovered in 1930 and was considered the ninth planet of our solar system. Pluto is entirely composed of methane ice, frozen nitrogen, and carbon monoxide ice. If we believe the reports of the scientific community, then Pluto also consists of polar caps, nitrogen, and a total of three moons. However, it is no longer considered a planet. The planetary status of the former planet was taken away in 2006, and it was titled as one of the dwarf planets in the solar system. It is no more counted amongst the list of the classical eight planets of our solar system. The main three reasons why it is difficult to find are its small size, its faint nature, and its low gravitational pull. There are so many unique facts and things you may not know about Pluto. So, if you are keen enough, then this article will take you to some of the most unique and quirky facts about this distant planet status, Pluto. 

If you found this article interesting, then you may also like to read about space rocks and Apollo 13 space mission.

Fun Facts About Pluto 

Pluto is the former planet of our solar system and was once counted as the ninth planet. It might be interesting for you to know that planet Pluto got its name from the Roman god of the underworld. According to mythology, the Roman god is named Pluto and the planet was named after him because Pluto is quite far away from the sun, and hence it encompasses perpetual darkness. Pluto is also one of the first Kuiper belt objects that were discovered and were known as a plutoid. If we go to its discovery, then Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930, by the Lowell Observatory. 

The interesting and fun facts about Pluto are not limited to the ones mentioned above. You may have heard of Disney's cartoon character Pluto, the dog. The year Pluto was discovered, Disney named its new character Pluto. It was said that Walt Disney chose this name in order to capitalize on the hubbub surrounding the planet. Besides that, you will find it interesting to know that it takes 248 Earth years for Pluto to complete one orbit circle around the sun. In other words, a year on the planet Pluto is equal to 248 earth years, and a day on Pluto lasts for about 153 hours, which is equivalent to six earth days. Many times, people even think about whether they could live on Pluto's planet or not. But as Pluto's surface has a thin atmosphere that consists of water ice, the weather is extremely cold, and simply life is not possible there. In the year 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft arrived at the system of Pluto and brought a few pixels into the real world, so people saw what the planet looked like.

Scientific Facts About Pluto 

The scientists who discovered Pluto have just begun an era of finding new Pluto facts. As per the scientific Pluto facts, the planet Pluto is pretty much smaller than the Earth's moon. The total size of Pluto is 1,473 mi (2,370 km) in diameter, and the Earth's moon has a diameter of 2,159 mi (3,476 km). So, we can say the size of Pluto is almost 18.5% of the size of Earth's planet. 

In the year 2006, after many debates, Pluto was re-classified as a dwarf planet when the IAU formalized the definition of a planet. Another interesting fact about this distant world planet is that Percival Lowell predicted its location in the asteroid belt in 1915. The prediction was adapted from the deviations he found in 1905 in the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. It is also said that sometimes the planet Pluto is visible in the night sky and has an atmosphere. Today we do not call Pluto a planet anymore but recognize it as a dwarf planet just because of its size. But if we go by the scientific community's reports, some scientists still consider Pluto as a planet. 

Pluto in space.

Facts About Pluto’s Moons 

One of the most anticipated facts about this planet is that this dwarf planet has several moons of its own. This was recognized when the Hubble space telescope made several moons visible in Pluto's orbit. The various moons of Pluto are named Charon, Nix, Kerberos, Hydra, and Styx. Pluto's moons are so small in size that it is difficult to resolve their features and characteristics. It is also said that the entire moon system of the dwarf planet was formed due to a collision between two celestial bodies in the solar system's history. 

If you want to know more about the moons of Pluto, then here are the details. The first moon of Pluto, named Charon, was discovered in 1978. It is one of the biggest moons of Pluto. It is so big that sometimes it is even referred to as a 'double planet system'. The next two are Nix and Hydra. These two small moons were discovered in 2005 by the Hubble space telescope when they were studying Pluto's size and orbit. The Kerberos moon of the dwarf planet was discovered in 2011 and is located in the orbits of Nix and Hydra. Last but not least, Styx, the moon of the planet, was discovered in 2012 by a joint team of scientists when they were looking for some potential hazards to the New Horizons spacecraft that was sent to fly around Pluto in 2015. 

Now, if you were wondering from where all these names were given to all the moons of Pluto, then here's your answer. All of Pluto's moons are named after the mythological figures of Greek mythology, a trend for Pluto that an 11-year-old Venetia Burney started in 1930. 

Facts About Pluto’s Weather 

Pluto lies around 30-50 times Earth’s distance from the sun, and no doubt why it is one of the coldest bodies in the solar system. The surface of Pluto planet consists of valleys, plains, mountains, and craters. So, the temperature on Pluto can be as severely cold as minus 375-400 F (minus 191-204 C). So, we can say that the weather is quite cold on the planet Pluto and there is no chance of the survival of any living organisms. 

When the NASA New Horizon mission was successful, it was found that the dwarf planet has a fragile and thin atmosphere that expands to new horizons when it comes near the sun's orbit. When this planet is closer to the sun, its surface becomes sublime and changes directly from solid to gas. Due to the low gravity on the planet, the atmosphere becomes more extended in altitude if we compare it to other planets in the solar system. When the planet moves far away from the sun's orbit, it begins to experience a colder climate, and this climate cycle is the same throughout the years. Sometimes, it is also said that the atmosphere ultimately gets frozen and falls like snow on the surface. 

Much like the planet Uranus, Pluto's rotational axis is highly tilted at a range of 122.5 degrees. This gives one side of the planet longer periods of darkness or light, depending upon the orientation of the planet to the sun. All these factors, when combined together, give different variations to Pluto's weather conditions. 

In conclusion, we can say that although Pluto failed to maintain its planetary status in the solar system. However, it does have great importance amongst scientists and all science enthusiasts. This is also one of the reasons why we curated a list of the best Pluto facts that everybody should be aware of so that this planet does not diminish from the list of other recognized dwarf planets in our space system. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 121 Pluto facts to know about the former planet, then why not take a look at 10 facts about space or 1961 space chimp name.

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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