32 Important Facts About Pluto

Last updated on May 4th, 2019

16. Named after: Pluto is named after the Greek god of the underworld.

17. How big? Pluto is smaller than the Earth’s moon and is half as wide as the United States.

18. Water or ice? Pluto has a lot of water in the form of ice. The amount of this water contained on the planet is almost thrice the amount reserved in all the Earth’s oceans.

19. Missions to Pluto: there has been only one mission to Pluto until now.

20. Inside Pluto: it is suspected by the scientists that Pluto has a rocky core which is surrounded by a mantle of water ice.

21. Big dents on the planet’s surface: craters as large as 260 km in diameter have been seen on Pluto.

22. Pressure: the pressure on the Earth’s surface is 100,000 times greater than that on Pluto’s.

23. Naming the planet: Pluto is the only planet named by an 11-year-old English girl — Venetia Burney. It was named so in 1930. The girl was awarded 5 pounds as a reward for suggesting the name.

24. Life? as per the data gathered from Pluto, scientists believe that the existence of life is not possible on the planet.

25. Spectroscopy: this technique of analysis of light is used to uncover strange and unknown facts about Pluto.

26. Sunlight: due to the enormous distance between Pluto and the Sun, the sunlight takes almost 5 hours to reach Pluto. And it (sunlight) takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds to reach Earth.

27. Pluto in chemistry: Plutonium, a transuranic radioactive element, was named after Pluto. Prior to its naming, Uranium was named after Uranus, and Neptunium after Neptune.

28. NASA: NASA launched a spacecraft named New Horizons, which is about the size of a piano, to study Pluto. It is also the first spacecraft to flyby Pluto.

29. Elements on Pluto: scientists have estimated that water might be in existence between the rocky core of Pluto and its thick outer layer of ice. It is also believed that the planet’s water should also be containing biogenic elements like carbon, hydrogen, calcium, nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, chlorine, sodium, and iron.

30. The absence of Oxygen: no traces of oxygen have been detected on Pluto yet.

31. The intensity of the Sun: during the daytime, the Sun would be 1/900 times dimmer on Pluto than full daylight on Earth.

32. The direction of rotation: Pluto, like Venus and Neptune, rotates backward, i.e from east to west. The planet also rotates on its side.

Pluto – Quick facts

Discovered byClyde Tombaugh
Date of DiscoveryFebruary 18th, 1930
Mass13,090,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
Surface Area16,647,940 square km
Equatorial Inclination122.5 degrees (retrograde rotation)
Mean Orbit Velocity16,809 km/h
Surface Temperatureminus 233 to minus 223 °C
Equatorial Circumference7,231.9 km
Volume6,387,259,783 cubic km
Orbit Size Around Sun5,906,440,628 km
Escape Velocity4,428 km/h
Density2.050 gram per cubic centimeter
Equatorial Radius1,151 km
Surface Gravity0.66 meter per second square