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Pluto

Dwarf Planet of the Solar System

Proper NamePluto
Sidereal Period249 years
90,777.6 days
Mean Distance from the Sun5,913.49 million km
39.5 AU
Sidereal Day6d 9h 18m
Diameter2,284 km
Mean Surface Temperature-220°C
MoonsCharon
Illustration of Pluto

Frosted with methane ice, tiny Pluto lies so far out in the depths of the Solar System that sunlight takes more than four hours to reach it.

Size Comparison of Pluto

Pluto's diameter is just 2,284km, which is less than a fifth that of Earth. In fact, the planet Pluto is smaller than many of the Solar System's moons, including Earth's.

The most distant of the Sun's family of nine planets, and the most mysterious. It pursues a wildly eccentric orbit, sometimes even coming nearer to the Sun than Neptune.

Map of Pluto

No detailed map of Pluto exists, so this diagram of its surface is necessarily conjectural. It is broadly consistent, though, with the limited observations it has been possible to make from Earth.

Pluto and Charon

The view from Pluto of its snowball moon, Charon. Compared to its parent planet, Charon is huge - more than half Pluto's diameter - and for this reason Pluto is sometimes referred to as a 'double planet'.

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