The planet Pluto is named after Hades, the mythological Greek god known as the ruler of the underworld. After gathering suggestions and experiencing several debates, the planet was named Pluto partly because it is very far from the sun. The planet is perpetually dark. Another reason for its name is because PL are Percival Lowell’s initials, the man who theorized that another planet existed. The planet was discovered in 1930.
Pluto is classified as the second-largest dwarf planet in our Solar system. However, recent studies have suggested speculation by astronomers that Pluto, is in fact part of the Kuiper belt. This is found in the outermost region of the solar system which is mainly composed of asteroids. This heavenly body who takes its name after the Roman and Greek god of the underworld has a distance of 2.67 billion miles away from Earth, therefore its surface is relatively unknown. However, […]
In 2006, Pluto was demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet. It is currently the second biggest dwarf planet known to man in the Solar System (Eris is currently the biggest). From 1930 to 2006, it was believed to be the farthest planet from the Sun and, naturally, Earth. This distance is the reason why it took several years before experts discovered that Pluto cannot be considered as a planet (the doubt regarding its status, however, long existed, specifically […]
There were three known moons of Pluto: Charon, Nix and Hydra. At least until July 2011, then another one a year later in 2012 that two additional moons were seen through the Hubble Telescope. The two newly discovered moons are natural satellites. That brings the total moons of Pluto to five. The dwarf planet was discovered in 1930. At first, scientists thought that Pluto did not have a satellite in its orbit. This would go on about 50 years until […]
Five of the known planets in our solar system are easily visible through our naked eyes because of their brightness and size and these have been known by people for about thousands of years. Pluto, because of its size, has been referred to as a Dwarf Planet and due to this; it may be difficult for any person to discover it. That is why it is only on the 18th of February on the year 1930 that planet Pluto was […]
Pluto’s atmosphere was discovered from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory in 1985. It was observed through the occultation of a star with Pluto. If a planet does not have an atmosphere, the star would disappear immediately. But with Pluto, the star dimmed slowly. The atmospheric temperature of Pluto was discovered to be .15 pascals by measuring the rate of dimming of the star. The initial findings were further confirmed by another masking that occurred on 1988. Another revelation was studied on […]
Pluto may no longer be considered a planet, but it will always be one in people’s minds. It is a good thing that Pluto is located in the colder and darker outer Solar System because if we were to bring it into the inner Solar System, it would turn into a kind of comet and blast out particles and gas from the solar wind. What is Pluto made of that would make it act this way?
Although astronomers have officially downgraded Pluto to mere dwarf planet, it still remains an object of fascination for most scientists. In fact, NASA has sent an unmanned spacecraft, the New Horizons on a mission to Pluto. Its mission is to capture the first close-up images of its surface; the craft is scheduled to reach Pluto by July 2015. Researchers are continuing to study the dwarf planet in the hopes of gaining more insight about the history of our Solar System.
Pluto’s orbital period is long. It takes 248 years and its orbital characteristics are substantially different from every other planet in our Solar System; a year in Pluto is equivalent to 248 Earth years. As you already know, the planets orbit around the Sun on a flat reference plane which is called the ecliptic and each of those planets have nearly circular orbits. However, in Pluto’s case, its orbit is highly eccentric. This eccentricity in the way it orbits makes […]
The mass of Pluto is less than .024 percent than that of earth (1.31×10_22 kg). That is roughly seven times (.0021) the mass of Earth. Its diameter is 2,390 km, which is relatively smaller than that of the Earth’s moon. The density on Pluto ranges from 1.8 to 2.1 grams per centimeter cubed. The gravity on Pluto is 7% than the gravity of Earth. An object weighting 200 pounds on Earth, would weight 14 pounds on Pluto. Before arriving at […]