Pluto is a dwarf planet in the area of the Kuiper belt, which is an area with many dwarf planets, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The dwarf planet is after Neptune in the planetary alignment, and it is the former ninth planet until reclassification in 2006, clarifies the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Pluto is an icy planet with a solid core, explains NASA. Instead of a water-based ice, the frozen surface is primarily formed of methane and nitrogen. The mantle of Pluto, however, forms from ice made of water. Some of the surface ice melts when Pluto orbits close to the sun, releasing the methane and nitrogen into the air to create a temporary atmosphere. Once Pluto moves away from the sun, the gases refreeze. Pluto’s elliptical orbit places the dwarf planet on an incline as it orbits through the solar system. Pluto’s mass is relatively small to the planets in the solar system. It also has a low point of gravity. Pluto has five moons that orbit the planet.
It takes 248 Earth years for Pluto to make one revolution around the sun. Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, takes more than six days to orbit once around Pluto. Charon is roughly half the size of Pluto.Learn More
Pluto became a dwarf planet in 2006. Upon being stripped of its title as a planet, Pluto joined two other celestial bodies, called Eris and Ceres, in the category of dwarf planets. The decision to reclassify the former planet was made by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).Full Answer >
Mars is 142 million miles from the Sun and takes 687 Earth days to complete one orbit around the sun, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The average surface temperature on Mars is -81 degrees Fahrenheit, and the small red planet has a much weaker gravitational pull than that of Earth. Mars also has 15 percent of the volume of Earth.Full Answer >
NASA is the acronym for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It was founded by the U.S. government in 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and grew out of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. It deals primarily with aviation and space.Full Answer >
The most popular theory regarding lunar formation is that a Mars-sized planetoid slammed into the Earth and flung molten debris into orbit around 40 million years after the solar system was created, according to scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This is called the giant impact theory.Full Answer >