Pluto....a cold and mysterious place

The planet Pluto

Pluto is the 9th planet in our solar system. Very little is known about Pluto in comparison to the other planets in our solar system.

Icy cold and mysterious

The 9th planet in the solar system is the smallest, coldest and furthest planet from the Sun. This planet is also one of the larger objects in a part of the solar system past Neptune called The Kuiper Belt. The Kuiper Belt is filled with small planet-like objects and comets.

This icy, cold world was discovered in 1930 by an American astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh and his contributions to Astronomy were enormous, none bigger than the discovery of this mysterious planet.

A lot of things we know about the 9th planet in our solar system,we know from observations we made from Earth. Even the Hubble Space Telescope can't get a good look at the 9th planet enough to make out any distinguishable features.

Did you know that no spacecraft has ever visited the solar system's 9th planet?

A space mission called New Horizons is being planned to explore the furthest planet from the Sun and the Kuiper Belt. This mission could launch in the next couple of years.

Many questions left to be answered

Astronomers and scientists still have many questions about the 9th planet and its moon Charon. These questions probably won't be answered without an unmanned space mission.

What we do know about this mysterious planet

In 1978, astronomers James Christy and Robert Harrington discovered a moon they named Charon, orbiting the solar system's 9th planet. This moon is about half the size of the 9th planet and has the same orbit.

The 9th planet is thought to have a rocky core surrounded by ice. Its mass is 1/6 of the mass of the Earth's moon, and it has a low density. The surface of the planet is most likely made of frozen methane, nitrogen, and carbon monoxide.

Perhaps in the years to come, scientists and astronomers will learn more about this cold and icy world.

Here a few quick facts about the 9th planet:

  • It is 3.6 billion miles from the Sun
  • It has one moon
  • Named for the Roman god of the underworld
  • One day is equivalent to 6 Earth days
  • One year is equivalent to 248 Earth years

Note: Pluto is now considered to be a dwarf planet and is no longer the 9th planet of our solar system.

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