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Let's Learn About Pluto!

Now classified as a dwarf planet, Pluto was known as the 9th planet in the solar system until 2006.

The Dwarf Planet!

In July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft sent home the first close-up pictures of Pluto and its moons. Click below to watch a video of what it would be like to fly over Pluto.

Image Credit: NASA

space iguda small

Iguda’s Pluto Fact File

*FUN FACT* Pluto’s biggest moon Charon orbits at exactly the same speed as Pluto rotates. It stays above exactly the same spot on the surface all the time. Scientists call this tidal locking.

Position from the sun

dwarf planet beyond Neptune

Diameter

2,300 km

Distance from The Sun

5,900,000,000 km

Day length

153 hours

Year Length

248 years

Number of moons

5

Surface temperature

-232 °C

Surface gravity

0.66 m/s²

Atmosphere

Nitrogen, methane, carbon monoxide

Pluto’s moon Charon!

This is Pluto’s moon Charon shown in enhanced colours. The image below shows Pluto and Charon photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope, from Earth orbit, in 1994

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT …

at Pluto and beyond is the Kuiper belt of billions of large icy objects.

The furthest reaches of the solar system hold some amazing objects and only the New Horizons mission has travelled to explore the Kuiper Belt.

Two Voyager missions, and two Pioneer missions went that far out, but they were launched before the Kuiper Belt was discovered. They sent back useful data about the region, but New Horizons was designed specifically to investigate it.

Your Task

There are plenty of options for what else to investigate at the farthest frontier of the solar system. Plan a new space probe mission to go beyond Neptune and investigate some of these distant objects in the Kuiper Belt. You will need to do some research to decide which objects you want to learn more about, and what kind of sampling and testing your probe will do. Include a map showing where your probe will travel on the way out there.

You could start by looking at the:

– MISSION END –

– MISSION END –

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Your Journey So Far …

Tanno and Iguda have explored these places up to now. You can go back and visit again by clicking below.

The Moon

Venus

Mercury

The Sun

Mars

Asteroids

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto

Great to see you here, thank you for the visit! See you next time …

Tanno & Iguda