How Long is a Year on Pluto?

by Fraser Cain on May 16, 2008


Pluto takes 248 years to complete each orbit around the Sun. So a year on Pluto lasts 248 years. During this period, Pluto travels around the Sun in a very elliptical orbit. At its closest point, or perihelion, Pluto gets as close as 4.4 billion km from the Sun. At its most distant point, or aphelion, Pluto is 7.4 billion km from the Sun.

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With this widely eccentric orbit, the temperatures on Pluto can very a significant amount. Temperatures can plunge to 33 kelvin, or -240 Celsius.

During this orbit, Pluto can actually get closer to the Sun than Neptune. The last time this happened was on February 11, 1999.

About 

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

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