- Planet Name: Pluto (Dwarf Planet)
- Type of Planet: Dwarf Planet
- Solar System Region: Outer Solar System
- Distance from the Sun: 2,758,888,093 miles (perihelion) to 4,585,719,398 miles (aphelion)
- Time to Orbit Around the Sun: 90,560 Earth days
- Moons (natural satellites): 5
- Total Surface Area: 17,000,000 square miles
20 Pluto Facts for Kids
- In August 2006, the IAU (International Astronomical Union) defined what a planet is. Because Pluto didn’t meet one of the three conditions to be considered a planet it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.
- The dwarf planet Pluto formed about 4.6 billion years ago.
- The dwarf planet Pluto was discovered on February 18th, 1930, by Clyde Tombaugh.
- Pluto is the fourth closest dwarf planet to the Sun.
- Prior to 2006, Pluto was the ninth most distance planet from the Sun.
- Pluto is in the outer part of our Solar System.
- Pluto is a dwarf planet, prior to 2006, Pluto was considered a terrestrial planet.
- Pluto is only 16.5% the size of Earth.
- The radius of Pluto is 738 miles.
- Pluto’s perihelion (closest) distance to the Sun is 2.75 billion miles.
- Pluto’s aphelion (farthest) distance to the Sun is 4.58 billion miles.
- It takes Pluto over 90,500 Earth days to complete an orbit around the Sun.
- Pluto has five known moons (natural satellites).
- Charon (Pluto I) is the largest moon orbiting Pluto.
- Nix (Pluto II) is the third largest moon orbiting Pluto.
- Hydra (Pluto III) is the farthest moon orbiting Pluto.
- The dwarf planet Pluto has no observed rings, but some scientists think it might be possible it has rings.
- Due to the distance from the Sun, thin atmosphere and cold temperatures, it is unlikely life could have evolved on Pluto as we currently know it.
- Pluto was named after the Roman god of the underworld, which was proposed by Venetia Burney at age 11.
- The debate if Pluto should be a planet or a dwarf planet continues. There is a 50/50 chance Pluto will once again be called a planet in the future.
Pictures of the Planet Pluto
A photo of Pluto taken by the NASA New Horizons spacecraft in 2015.
A photo of Pluto’s surface taken by the NASA New Horizons spacecraft.
A photo of the frozen canyons of Pluto’s north pole, taken by NASA.
Additional Resources on the Planet Pluto
- Is Pluto a Planet? – Why can’t astronomers decide on whether or not Pluto is a planet? Everyday Einstein explains the controversy about our faraway neighbor.
- Why is Pluto no longer a planet? – Learn why Pluto was downgraded to a draft planet in 2006 by the IAU.
- Pluto – Wikipedia – Discover more awesome facts about Pluto on the Wikipedia website.