Up until 2006, Pluto was the ninth planet in the Solar System. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union set up new guidelines for qualifications of a planet, and Pluto didn’t meet all the qualifications. Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.
Pluto is the outermost planet of the Solar System. It is also the smallest planet. It is so small that it was discovered only in the 20th century. Because of its extreme distance from the Sun, it is freezing cold and dark. No probe has been able to visit this planet, so it is least understood.
Pluto takes 248 Earth years to orbit the Sun once. It has a satellite, which is around half its own size. It is called Charon and was discovered only in 1978. Pluto and Charon are separated by a distance of just 19,700 kilometers. So the moon sometimes casts a shadow over the planet. That is why Pluto and Charon are sometimes referred to as a double planet system.
Charon’s orbit around Pluto has become synchronized with Pluto’s own rotation. As a result, the same face of Charon is visible on Pluto.
Pluto is located so far away that the Sun will look like a very bright, distant star in its sky.
Pluto with its moon Charon.
My Other Articles