Because my good friend and incredible astronomy student Phillip Dowdell (featured below) is so deeply intrigued by the planet Pluto and truly considers himself Pluto’s biggest fan, I figured that it was in my best interest to not only dedicate this blog post to him and his intense efforts to argue for Pluto’s being reinstated as a planet but also to finally do my due diligence and research what makes this (former) planet stand out from the rest of the remaining planets.
Anyways, back to the topic at hand. In my research, I uncovered a horde of interesting facts (again, featured below) about Pluto from NASA that may shed light on why its planetary status may have been revoked. After thorough exploration and debate, I understand why Pluto is no longer considered to be a planet in our Solar System but also appreciate it more for what it is. I also do think that Pluto’s reduction to a Dwarf Planet does say a lot about how important labels can be to the astronomy community as they are important signifiers that often carry a lot of weight.
- Pluto is (at the time of the publishing of this post) 3,161,356,308 miles away from the Sun, slightly below its average orbit distance.
- A year on Pluto is the equivalent of 90,530 days on Earth.
- Pluto is 5.5 times smaller than Earth.
- It was first discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh.
- It’s surface gravity is 0.66 m/s^2 which is just under 15 times less than Earth’s.
- Because of it’s lower gravity, Pluto’s escape velocity is 2,751 mph, just over 9 times smaller than Earth’s required 25,031 mph.