Pluto the former planet

Originally the ninth planet from the Sun, Pluto was recategorized as a dwarf planet as it was discovered that it is one of numerous large bodies within the Kuiper Belt. Pluto is not visible without the aid of a larg telescope and some patience may be needed to locate it over several nights.

Pluto, along with it's largest moon Charon, are considered a double dwarf planetary system, and is sometimes referred to as the Pluto-Charon system. Charon is 51% the size of Pluto. Pluto's surface consists of 98% nitrogen ice with ice mountains, ice volcanoes, and has a thin atmosphere consisting of nitrogen and trace gases. A subsurface ocean of liquid water is likely.

Pluto 4K image (pan-zoom)

Pan, zoom, or go full-screen with this megapixel image of Pluto.

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  Original image: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker

Pluto facts

Magnitude: 15
Mass: 1.27 x 1022 kg
Radius: 1,137 km
Density: 2.05 gm/cm3
Distance from Sun: 5,913,520,000 km
Rotational period: 6.39 days
Orbital period: 248 years
Orbital velocity: 4.74 km/sec
Eccentricity of orbit: 0.248
Tilt of axis: 122.5 °
Inclination of orbit: 17.1 °
Surface gravity: 0.4 m/sec2
Escape velocity: 1.22 km/sec
Albedo: 0.3
Surface temperature: 464°C mean
Atmosphere: CO2 = 96%
N2 = 3%
Moons: 5

Pluto surface features

Notable surface features of Pluto:

Burney crater
Cthulu Macula dark area
Edgeworth crater
Elliot crater
Hillary Montes ice mountains
Krun Macula dark area
Oort crater
Pioneer Regio large area
Sputnik Planitia low plain
Tartarus Dorsa ridge
Tenzing Montes ice mountains
Tombaugh Regio large area

Moons of Pluto

Pluto has five natural satellites - listed below in order of size. For more information, see Moons of Pluto.

Pluto vs. Earth ratios

Planet sizes are to relative scale.

Two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

- Albert Einstein