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    This planet was not known to the ancient but was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930.  With our telescopes, Pluto appears as a small dim star.  Not terribly impressive.  There are also debates as to whether or not Pluto should be considered a planet: it is smaller than the moon and its orbit does not lie in the same plane as the rest of the planets' orbits.  In the later 20th century, two more Pluto-like objects were found: Sedna and Quaoar.


Mass -- 1.3 x 1022 kg   (0.0022 earth masses)


Radius -- 715 mi   (1,151 km or 0.180 earth radii)


Distance from the sun (average) -- 3,670,050,000 mi   (5,906,380,000 km or 39.482 AU)


Gravity -- 2.7 ft/sq. sec   (0.81 m/sq. sec)

    An adult weighing 140 lbs on Earth would weigh 12 lbs on Pluto.


Maximum surface temperature -- -369 F (below zero)


Minimum surface temperature -- -387 F (below zero)


Orbital velocity -- 10,623 mph   (17,096 km/hr or 0.425 earth speed)


Orbital eccentricity -- 0.2488

    This is how off-circular the moon's orbit around the Earth is.  An eccentricity of 0.00 would be a perfect circle.  An eccentricity of nearly 1 would be a very flattened oval.  For a fun project on ellipses and eccentricity, click here.


Sidereal rotation -- 153.3 hr   (6.4 earth days)

    A day on Pluto would be equivalent to around 6 1/2 Earth days.


Sidereal orbit -- 2,173,272 hr   (90,553 earth days or 247.9 earth years)

    A year on Pluto would take just under 248 Earth years.


Moons -- Charon



For more information on Pluto, please visit SEDS' website and NASA's website  Both websites are wonderful resources. 


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Website last updated March 16,  2006.  Hosted by Anthony Watts, KMXI Radio.  Webmasters Tiara Norris and Brendan Diamond.