Pluto is a real jewel. The planet, that is.

  • Pluto is a small dwarf planet and was formerly known as the ninth planet of the Solar System, and it is located in the Kuiper Belt at a distance from the Sun of 4.4 to 7.3 billion kilometres (2.7 to 4.5 billion miles), depending on its position in orbit.
  • The diameter of Pluto is roughly 2370 kilometres (1473 miles), which is equal to around 0.18 of Earth’s diameter, and it has a volume equal to approximately 0.0064 of Earth and a mass equal to 0.178 of the Earth’s moon.
  • Pluto has five official moons that orbit the planetary body, listed in order from largest to smallest: Charon, Hydra, Nix, Kerberos and Styx.
  • It takes almost 248 years for Pluto to complete a single orbit around the Sun, orbiting at a speed of 4.7 kilometres per second (2.9 miles per second).
  • In the late 1800s there were suggestions of a ninth planetary body due to a strange observation in Neptune’s gravity field, and this led to further investigations that were conducted from 1906 until Pluto’s existence was discovered in early 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.
Pluto, Flyby, Orange, New, Front, Planet, Far, Dwarf, Minor, Trivia, Ten RandoM Facts, Heart
Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr
  • ‘Pluto’ was named after the Roman god of the underworld, suggested by the then 11-year old British girl, Venetia Burney, and the suggested name reached authorities through family and friend contacts.
  • Before its discovery, Pluto was referred to as ‘Planet X’, although this term has been scientifically revoked after a general consensus that they were not the same planet, and that Planet X never existed.
  • Pluto has an orange, black, and white appearance, and the planet is made of ice and rock, reaching temperatures between -240 to -218 degrees Celsius (-400 to -360 degrees Fahrenheit), and its surface is at least 98% nitrogen ice, while other elements include carbon monoxide and methane.
  • The first probe to visit Pluto was NASA’s New Horizons, launched in 19 January, 2006 and reached its nearest point to the planet on 14 July, 2015.
  • In 2006, after significant discoveries from 1992 to 2005, the term ‘planet’ was officially defined, and as result Pluto was demoted from planet to dwarf planet status in the same year, as it did not meet all of the three new conditions that were established for determining planets.
Choi C, Dwarf Planet Pluto: Facts about the Icy Former Planet, 2014,,
Pluto, 2015, Wikipedia,
What is Pluto?, 2012, NASA,


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