This image was captured by New Horizons.


  • discovered on 18th February 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh – it was became the ninth planet. (wikipedia)
  • Pluto was by far the smallest.
  • but since 2006,Pluto has been classified as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Washington, USA.
  • this mean Pluto fails to dominate its orbit around the Sun.
  • a tiny ball of rock covered by ice, with frozen methane on the surface.
  • when nearest to the Sun, Pluto has a very thin atmosphere, but when it is further away, the atmosphere freeze into ice on the surface.
  • Pluto is further out than eight main planets, orbiting between 2,774 and 4,616 million miles from the Sun.
  • Pluto takes 248 years to travel once around the Sun, even at an average speed of 10,600 miles per hour – it spins around in 6½ earth’s day – so nearly as long as an Earth’s one week.
  • Pluto’s orbit is squashed into an oval shape – it is also called tilted.

Pluto’s moons

  • Does Pluto have any moons?
    –  yes, as of 2013, Pluto has five known moons.
    –  in order of distance from Pluto they are Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra.
    –  in 1978, an American astronomer James Christy discovered that Pluto has a largest moon – Charon of Pluto’s moons.
    –  Charon is about half the size of Pluto and weighs about 7 times less than Pluto.
    –  it is tidally locked with Pluto such that the combination of Pluto+Charon.
    –  Pluto+Charon; sometimes thought of as a binary object.
    – some astronomers think that Charon might be covered with water ice.
    –  then 2005 other two tiny moons were found.
    –  Nix and Hydra; these are very small moons and are thought to be between 30 and 100 miles across.
    –  Kerberos and Styx are the most recently discovered moons.

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