Photos of the Sun

Pluto and Charon. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

Pluto and Charon. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto

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Pluto is the ninth planet in the Solar System and the farthest from the Sun known. Pluto walks around the Sun in 247.7 years at an average distance of 5.900 million kilometers. Its orbit is so eccentric that at certain points in its path Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune. But there is no possibility of collision, since Pluto's orbit tilts more than 17.2 ° with respect to the plane of the ecliptic and never actually crosses the path of Neptune.

Pluto can only be seen through large telescopes. Very little has been known about this planet for many years, but in 1978 astronomers discovered a relatively large satellite rotating around Pluto at a distance of approximately 19,000 km, and called it Charon.

In 1994 the Hubble space telescope allowed to determine the size of Pluto and Charon with greater precision. Pluto has a diameter of about 2,320 km and Charon of approximately 1,270 km, which makes them the planet and satellite of more similar sizes of the Solar System.

Pluto has a dim atmosphere, probably methane. With an approximate density of twice that of water, Pluto is apparently more rocky than the other outer planets of the Solar System. This may be the result of the type of low temperature and low pressure chemical combinations that took place during the formation of the planet.

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Pluto surfaceCharon Rotation
Album: Photos of the Solar System Gallery: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto