Q:

How far is Pluto from Earth?

A:

Quick Answer

Pluto is about 2.6 billion miles from Earth, according to About.com. That distance is approximately 30 times greater than the distance between the Earth and the sun.

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How far is Pluto from Earth?
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Full Answer

Pluto is considered a "dwarf planet," according to NASA, because it is too small to move other objects out of its way. Pluto is 1,400 miles wide, which is about half the width of the United States. NASA also refers to Pluto as a "plutoid," a term that describes dwarf planets that are farther away than Neptune. Pluto orbits the sun, but, unlike most planets, the orbit is more elliptical in shape than circular, and the sun is not in the center of the orbit.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is Pluto named after?

    A:

    The planet Pluto is named after Pluto, the god of the underworld in Greek and Roman mythology. The name was suggested by a young girl, Venetia Burney Phair, in 1930 when she heard the news that a new planet had been discovered in the solar system.

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  • 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.

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  • Q:

    What is Pluto's atmosphere made up of?

    A:

    When Pluto has an atmosphere, it is thought to be made up of methane, nitrogen and carbon monoxide in gaseous form. This atmosphere outgases from the ice on Pluto's surface when it is closest to the sun, which warms the planet and causes the ice to sublimate.

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  • Q:

    Does Pluto have craters?

    A:

    Pluto, a dwarf planet, is subject to impact from cosmic material, which is the cause of planetary "craters." Pluto, however, is not close enough to Earth for modern imaging techniques to specifically identify these craters. They are assumed to exist.

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