Define Pluto

Learn about Pluto, the dwarf planet in our solar system, its reclassification, characteristics, exploration, and importance of studying it.

What is Pluto?

Pluto is a dwarf planet in our solar system that was once considered the ninth planet until it was reclassified in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Characteristics of Pluto

  • Pluto is located in the Kuiper Belt, a region of the outer solar system.
  • It is smaller than Earth’s moon and has a diameter of about 1,473 miles.
  • Pluto has a highly elliptical orbit, taking 248 Earth years to complete one orbit around the sun.

Controversy and reclassification

Pluto’s reclassification sparked controversy among scientists and the general public. Some argued that Pluto should retain its planetary status, while others supported the IAU’s decision based on its characteristics.

Exploration of Pluto

In 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made a historic flyby of Pluto, providing detailed images and data about the dwarf planet. Scientists learned more about Pluto’s geology, atmosphere, and other features.

Importance of studying Pluto

Studying Pluto and other dwarf planets can provide insights into the formation and evolution of our solar system. They can also help scientists understand the diversity of planetary bodies in the universe.

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