Pluto, the dwarf planet that is about the size of the moon, is a land full of mysteries. It has a heart shaped glacier and snow that’s red in color. Pluto was coined as a dwarf planet after the discovery of several such small sized worlds. It has five moons- Charon, Hydra(reminds me of a Marvel movie somehow), Nix, Styx and Kerboros. Here are seven quick facts about the dwarf planet.
1. Named by an 11 year old:
Venetia Burney, who was 11 years old at the time, coined the name Pluto in 1930. She suggested that the new discovery be named after the God of the Underworld. The moons of the planet are also named on the basis of mythical characters of the underworld, such as the river Styx and the boatman on the river Charon. Nix happens to be Charon’s mother. Kerberos is the three-headed dog of the underworld.
2. A long year:
A year on the dwarf planet is 248 Earth years.
3. Pretty darned cold:
The temperature on a Pluto varies from -228 c to -238 c. That’s way over the normal living temperatures(if you haven’t guessed that already).
4. A satellite half as big:
The largest of the 5 satellites, Charon, is half as big as the dwarf planet itself. They apparently orbit each other.
5. Into the black:
Pluto is 5.8 billion km. from the Sun, about 40 times more than the distance between Earth and Sun.
6. A tinted atmosphere:
Pluto’s atmosphere comprises of N, CH4 and CO. This has a blue tint and several distinct layers of haze.
7. A magnificent place:
Pluto has a heart shaped glacier that’s the size of Texas and Oklahoma, spinning moons and red snow, along with mountains as high as the Rocky mountains.