≡ Menu



Pluto and Charon

Pluto, long considered to be planet number nine, has been relegated to dwarf status, but that does not change its significance in our galaxy. A great deal of time and study has been devoted to the former planet. Here on Universe Today we have written a few dozen articles on the dwarf planet.

Our goals is to educate anyone who wants knowledge, but clicking around piecemeal is time consuming. We thought it would be helpful if we assembled a link page to all of our Pluto based articles on one page. Knowing that diving into a list of links is not the most exciting prospect for some readers, here are a few of the interesting facts that you will find in the articles linked below.

According to the XXVI General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union a planet must meet three criteria It needs to be in orbit around the Sun, it needs to have enough gravity to pull itself into a spherical shape, and it needs to have cleared its orbit of other objects. It is a little messy in Pluto’s orbit; therefore, it is no longer a planet.

Pluto is considered to be within the Kuiper Belt and is not the largest object there.

No, the dwarf planet is not named after the Disney character. It is named after the Roman god of the underworld.

Pluto has an atmosphere, but it is so cold that during part of its orbit the atmosphere falls to the surface.

The average temperature on the surface is -229 Celsius. You thought it was cold in your part of the world!

It took fifty years to find Pluto’s largest moon, Charon. Two more have been discovered since.

A Plutonian day, in Earth days, is 6 days and 9 hours long. Talk about having a long day at work. It also takes the dwarf planet 248 Earth years to complete one orbit.

A Plutoid is any small stellar body that exist beyond the range of Neptune, including Pluto.

Pluto has suffered enough by being demoted, in the pecking order within our Solar System. That demotion does not mean that it is any less important. The body of science that has been accumulated about the object, be it called a Plutoid, dwarf planet, or a minor planet. We hope that you find what you need in the links below and, as always, enjoy your research.

Characteristics of Pluto

Movement and Location of Pluto

Moons of Pluto

History of Pluto

Features of Pluto

Other Pluto Articles


Fraser Cain is the publisher of Universe Today. He's also the co-host of Astronomy Cast with Dr. Pamela Gay.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • bernie martin June 4, 2008, 5:20 PM

    Hi, as teacher and amatuer astromoner this is excellent web site to use for my autistic student thank you.