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Fun Facts About Pluto
First and foremost Pluto is our Ninth Planet to orbit the sun. *Disprove this theory and email us!
Pluto orbits around the sun after Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
In 1905 an astronomer named Percival Lowell discovered the force of gravity of an unknown object in our Solar System
that was affecting the orbits of Neptune and Uranus. In 1915 at his observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona through a telescope
he predicted the location of a new planet. He died in 1916 having never found the new planet.
Pluto or Planet "X" at the time was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh on February 18, 1930. He used Percival Lowell's earlier
predictions to find the new planet. At that time, Clyde Tombaugh never had any formal training in astronomy and only a
high school education. He was an assistant at the Lowell Observatory.
Pluto was named in May 1930 by the Royal Astronomical Society. An eleven year old girl, Venetia Burney Phair, had
suggested the name Pluto after knowing it hadn't been used yet and a fan of the Greek and Roman Legends (Pluto, Haides,
Hades, or Dis) from children's books.
Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the sun. It is about 6 Billion Kilometers from the sun. Has an equator diamter of about 2400
Pluto orbits closer to the sun than Neptune about 20 years out of it's 248 years in orbit making Pluto closer to the sun
than Neptune. Pluto's orbit is elliptical (oval-shaped) and chaotic. Both Neptune and Pluto are alligned so that they never
collide or intersect.
Pluto is mostly brown with the surface made up of mostly frozen methane gas and ice. Pluto has three moons named
Charon, Hydra and Nix.
Nasa's New Horizons spacecraft, launched January 19, 2006, is on a one-way journey to Pluto and beyond to the Kuiper
Belt. This mission to our ninth planet Pluto will arrive around July 14, 2015 and will be a very exciting one for all of us.
We will better understand Pluto.
On 2/26/2009 the Illinois General Assembly passed a law SR0046 declaring March 13, 2009 as "Pluto Day" and that when
Pluto passes overhead through Illinois' night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status.