Pluto Is Still Cool

Pluto Isn’t A Planet Anymore, But It’s As Interesting As One.


By: Reece von Elling, Journalist

Pluto, a small, icy world with a diameter that is only 18.5 percent as big as Earth’s is located at the frontier of our solar system.

Until the 21st century, Pluto was genuinely regarded as a planet, but now, its no longer included in the definition after a resolution by the International Astronomical Union. According to the IAU, Pluto has not “cleared its neighboring region of other objects,” making it a “dwarf planet.” This means that, unlike larger planets, Pluto has not absorbed any asteroids and other cosmic debris over time but still has hundreds of them along its flight path. Many people were sad to see it go, as the international scientific community observes Pluto Demoted Day on August 24 to commemorate Pluto’s downgrading.

Pluto may have lost its planet status, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still fascinating. Depending on where it is in its erratic orbit, Pluto can be more than 4 billion miles from Earth. Pluto’s average temperature is -387 degrees Fahrenheit. Because of the extreme cold, Pluto has a huge glacier on its surface made of exotic ices, like nitrogen and methane ice.

Pluto’s five moons are an additional intriguing fact. One of them, known as Charon, is half as big as Pluto. (Our moon, for instance, is little more than one-fourth the size of Earth.)  Charon is so big that its gravity actually causes Pluto’s orbit to sway. Pluto’s demotion is contested by certain scientists. There are many objects in space, and each planet has some in its neighboring region. Pluto also has an atmosphere. It has moons. It goes around the sun, and there are still people who are trying to fight for Pluto’s planet today.