Q:

Did the planet Pluto blow up?

A:

Quick Answer

Pluto did not blow up. This myth is one of several that have emerged since the International Astronomical Union designated Pluto as a dwarf planet under new labeling guidelines. Schools have adapted by teaching students that the solar system has just eight planets instead of the previously taught nine.

Know More

Full Answer

The 2006 change resulted in Pluto being too small to meet the criteria for a planet. Prior to 2006, any large celestial body that orbited the sun was considered a planet. Though Pluto still meets this standard, it also carries small elements called planetesimals during its orbit. The eight remaining planets in the solar system do not.

Learn more about Planets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Does Pluto have any rings?

    A:

    Although astronomers have not observed any rings on Pluto, some scientists believe that Pluto may have rings due to the low gravitational pull of its two moons. NASA’s New Horizons mission may provide further information on the existence of rings around Pluto.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the weather like on Pluto?

    A:

    When Pluto is closest to the sun, the frozen nitrogen on its surface sublimates, meaning it turns into gas, to provide a thin atmosphere. When Pluto is farthest away from the sun, the nitrogen in its thin atmosphere refreezes and falls as snow. Temperatures can range from -378 to -396 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is Pluto so small?

    A:

    Pluto is small because it has a very low force of gravity, caused by its low density at 2.03 g/cm³. Its density is almost half of Mercury's, the smallest of the eight planets in the solar system. Its gravitational force is only 5 percent of Earth's.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is Pluto cold?

    A:

    Pluto is cold because it is, on average, 3.6 billion miles away from the sun. The sun provides heat and energy to the entire solar system, and the farther away planets are from the sun, the colder they are.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore