Pluto used to be a planet of our solar system once. It is the farthest object to the sun of our solar system. It was excluded from the solar system based on many facts and figures that were not letting Pluto to rest in the planet category. Pluto being the farthest object is the coolest and it’s also very small, compared to earth it is not more than a small ping pong ball. Some facts about Pluto are given in below lines to know this small frozen ball in more detail.
The atmosphere of the planet is not known much due to its distance from earth and due to its non planet like characteristics but in 1985, it was first discovered that Pluto has an atmosphere. When it moves away from sun its surface freezes and when it moves closer the surface melts and a gas surrounds the planet. The astronomers could calculate that the surface of Pluto is wrapped with a thin layer of methane, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
Pluto has three moons that orbit it. The first moon that was discovered was charon which has the mass half of that of Pluto. The other two moons were discovered in May 15, 2005. They are called nix and hydra. Nix is 46 km across while hydra is 61 km across.
3. Not A Planet Anymore
Pluto is not a planet anymore because of the reason that it has not cleared out its orbit materials. The materials that are present in the orbit of Pluto if added up with respect to mass, Pluto will only be a tiny fraction of the total mass. Its mass is 0.07 of the total mass. For this reason, Pluto did not qualify to be a planet and has been placed as a dwarf planet.
4. Binary Planet System
Pluto and its moon charon orbit a common point. Charon does not actually orbit Pluto. In case of earth, both earth and its moon orbit a point but that is inside earth, while in Pluto that point lies above pluto’s surface therefore scientists called it a binary planet system.
5. The Roman God
Pluto is named after a roman god, Pluto. The reason this planet was given this name is because Pluto was the god of underworld, and this planet , which was initially named as planet x, is also a cold and dark place therefore an 11 years old girl’s suggestion was honored. Otherwise this planet would have remained as planet x.
The orbit of Pluto is elliptical. Due to this orbit it can get closer than Neptune. When it moves to the far ends of its orbit, it is 49 astronomical units away from earth while when it reaches the short ends of its orbit; it reaches as close as 29 AU which means that this planet actually orbits within the orbit of Neptune.
7. Smaller Than Even The Seven Moons
Pluto is a small place. Its total mass makes only 0.24 percent of the mass of the earth, this makes it even smaller than mercury and the seven moons of our solar system including titan etc. it is even smaller that the newly discovered dwarf planet Eris.
8. If It Was Close To Sun!
Pluto is far away from sun, this is why its frozen. The structure of Pluto is half icy and half rocks. If it would get close to sun it would become a comet instead of a dwarf planet. The sun could melt the ice on it and the remaining rocky structure would become a comet with a tail.
9. Charon May Have Geysers
There are several objects in our solar system that have geysers and astronomers have discovered that the moon charon might too have the ice geysers.
10. Spacecraft To Pluto
To understand more about Pluto, a spacecraft is going to Pluto; it will reach there in 2015 and was launched in 2005.