"The Dwarf Planet"

Pluto Itself

Pluto is a dwarf planet located the furthest away from the sun out of all the planets. There are 9 planets in total, but since pluto is not considered a planet anymore, there are eight. Therefore, Pluto is the 8th furthest planet away from the sun. It is at the edge of our solar system. It is located from 4.4 to 7.4 billion kilometers away from the sun, but it depends on where it is in it's orbit cycle while it is going around the sun. The distance that pluto is from the sun varies. One day spent in pluto is 6 days on earth. It takes 283 earth years to complete one full orbit around the sun.

Since pluto is so far away from the earth, (furthest) it cannot be seen like you would normally look at stars. You would need one of the largest earth based telescopes to see it, and only then it is only a small dot of light. It is two thirds times the size of the moon! Pluto is 1,200 times further away from the earth than the moon is. This is one of the reasons why it is a Dwarf Planet.

Pluto is so big, that it has it's own moon. Just like earth, there is another planet that is always by it's side classified as Pluto's moon. It is called Charon.

What Is Pluto?

Dwarf Planet

In 2006, the international astronimical union decided that pluto was no longer a regular planet, and that it was a "Dwarf Planet".

A dwarf planet is when a planet lacks gravitational muscle, which means it does not sweep or move objects that are near their orbits. They end up orbiting the sun, when in zones or similar objects. For example, the Kuiper belts & Asteroid. Pluto is the only dwarf planet that was once classifies as a major planet. The main reason Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet, and not a regular planet, is because it is located so far away from the earth. Bot much research and close up investigating has been done on it, because it is so far away.

Interesting facts about pluto

More facts

  • Pluto's highly elliptical orbit can take it more than 49 times as far out from the sun as Earth.
  • Pluto has an estimated diameter less than one-fifth that of Earth or only about two-thirds as wide as Earth's moon
  • Pluto consists of a rocky core surrounded by a mantle of water ice, with more exotic ices such as methane and nitrogen frost coating its surface.
  • Pluto’s orbit will take within the orbit of the planet Neptune.
  • When Pluto is closer to the sun, its surface ices thaw and temporarily form a thin atmosphere, mostly of nitrogen, with some methane.
  • Pluto's low gravity, which is a little more than one-twentieth that of Earth's, causes this atmosphere to extend much higher in altitude than Earth's.
  • When traveling farther away from the Sun, most of Pluto's Atmosphere is thought to freeze and all but disappear


By Julia Townsend

May 23rd, 2013