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Pluto

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Pluto facts

Pluto facts

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  • 1. PLUTO BY CHARLOTTE BOULUS
  • 2. CONTENTS
    • Description
    • Location
    • How did it get its name?
    • How big is Pluto?
    • What is it made of?
    • What is it like on the surface?
    • How many moons does it have?
    • Can you see Pluto from Earth?
  • 3. DESCRIPTION
    • Formerly the smallest planet in the Solar System. In August 2006 the International Astronomical Union redefined the term 'planet'. Now Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet.
    • Pluto is a small rocky object that lies at the very edge of the solar system. The planet is so far out it takes light from the sun about 5 and a half hours to reach Pluto in contrast to the 8 minutes it takes to reach Earth.
    • Its orbit of about 248 years sometimes takes it inside Neptune’s orbit. Pluto is so cold that nitrogen and oxygen, which we breathe so easily on Earth, become frozen solid.
    • The planet is only about two-thirds the size of our moon and up until recently was the biggest known object in the Kuiper Belt (an asteroid zone).
  • 4. LOCATION
    • Pluto is the ninth, or last, planet in the solar system. The orbit, or path the planet takes around our Sun is an ellipse, or stretched out circle. For this reason there are times when Pluto is the furthest away from the Sun.
    • There are also times when it is closer to the Sun than Neptune. Right now, Pluto is the furthest planet. Pluto is a very long way from the Sun. Its average distance from the Sun is over 3.5 billion miles.
    • The closest Pluto gets to the Sun is over 2.7 billion (2,700,000,000) miles, and the furthest away it gets is over 4.5 billion (4,500,000,000) miles.
  • 5. HOW DID PLUTO GET ITS NAME?
    • Pluto was discovered in 1930 by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. After Neptune was discovered, astronomers noticed that something was changing the orbits of Uranus and Neptune and decided that there must be another undiscovered planet that was causing these changes. Mr. Tombaugh spent a long time taking photographs of the area of the sky where the unknown planet should be and finally discovered Pluto in one of the photographs.
    • Pluto is the Roman god of darkness and the underworld. Perhaps Pluto got its name because it is always in darkness.
    • It may have also gotten its name from the fact that its symbol "PL" are the initials of Percival Lowell, who founded the observatory where Mr. Tombaugh worked.
  • 6. HOW BIG IS PLUTO?
    • Pluto and its moon Charon, in comparison to the United States
    • Pluto is about 2274 kilometers (1410 miles) in diameter and Charon 1172 kilometers (727 miles) in diameter.
  • 7. WHAT IS IT MADE OF?
    • Pluto is the only planet in our solar system that we have not explored with a spacecraft. What we know about the dark, frozen world is the result of many years of work by dedicated scientists here on Earth. The current studies tell us that Pluto is made up of a mixture of rocks and several kinds of "ices". Scientists believe that most of the ices that make up Pluto are frozen methane and ammonia.
  • 8. WHAT IS IT LIKE ON THE SURFACE?
    • The surface of Pluto is very dark and extremely cold. Since the planet is so far away from the Sun, it gets almost no light or heat. Scientists believe that the temperature on the surface of the ninth planet is over 250 degrees celsius below zero.
    • At this low temperature, almost everything freezes solid. Scientists here on Earth have determined that Pluto does have a very thin atmosphere, but it is far too thin to support any kind of life.
  • 9. HOW MANY MOONS DOES PLUTO HAVE?
    • Pluto has three moons, the largest named Charon, was discovered in 1978.
    • Charon is half the size of Pluto. No other moon in the solar system is as large, when compared to its mother planet.
    • Pluto and Charon are so similar in size that some astronomers think of them as a double planet.
    • The other two moons Nix and Hydra are far smaller than Charon.
    Artist’s impression of Charon from Pluto.
  • 10. CAN YOU SEE PLUTO FROM EARTH?
    • Probably not, even if you have a telescope. Pluto is so tiny, and so far away, that you will need a telescope that is at least 25cms in diameter.
    • You will also need to know exactly where to look for it. If there is an observatory close to where you live, you might be able to see it through their telescope.
    • Even if you can find the planet, it will be nothing more than a pinpoint of light among the stars.
  • 11. TIME TO RETURN TO EARTH! GOODBYE ASTRONAUTS!!! HAVE A SAFE TRIP HOME! Commander Charlotte Boulus