What Are Some Interesting Facts About Pluto?

Pluto is a dwarf planet in the area of the Kuiper belt, which is an area with many dwarf planets, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The dwarf planet is after Neptune in the planetary alignment, and it is the former ninth planet until reclassification in 2006, clarifies the Space Telescope Science Institute.

Pluto is an icy planet with a solid core, explains NASA. Instead of a water-based ice, the frozen surface is primarily formed of methane and nitrogen. The mantle of Pluto, however, forms from ice made of water. Some of the surface ice melts when Pluto orbits close to the sun, releasing the methane and nitrogen into the air to create a temporary atmosphere. Once Pluto moves away from the sun, the gases refreeze. Pluto’s elliptical orbit places the dwarf planet on an incline as it orbits through the solar system. Pluto’s mass is relatively small to the planets in the solar system. It also has a low point of gravity. Pluto has five moons that orbit the planet.

It takes 248 Earth years for Pluto to make one revolution around the sun. Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, takes more than six days to orbit once around Pluto. Charon is roughly half the size of Pluto.