That’s right! Today is International Pluto Day – when we celebrate the discovery of Pluto on this day in 1930. Here are some interesting Pluto facts to help brighten up your day:
Pluto is a very cool place, literally! Its surface temperature is about -280 Celsius (-470 Fahrenheit).
At the furthest point of its orbit, Pluto is 7.3 billion km from the sun.
Although dinosaurs like me were taught that Pluto is a planet, it was downgraded in 2006 to a Dwarf Planet. So there are now officially eight planets in our solar system, not nine like some of us were taught.
Pluto spins around its axis in the opposite direction to all the other planets in the solar system except Venus.
Pluto is only 2,373 km in diameter, meaning that it is smaller than our moon.
Pluto has five moons: Charon, Hydra, Nix, Kerberos and Styx.
Pluto is one third water ice, which is THREE times as much water as in all the Earth’s oceans.
Pluto’s year (the time it takes to complete one orbit of the sun) is extremely long. It takes 247.7 Earth years to complete a single orbit. That means if you were born and lived on Pluto all your life, you would be about a quarter of a year old by the time you died of old age!
To give you an idea of how extraordinarily far Pluto is from our sun, if you fired a bullet at Pluto from the surface of the Sun (don’t try this at home, kiddies!) that bullet, travelling at a velocity of 2,000 km per hour, would take approximately 416 years to reach Pluto.
The challenges that these vast distances pose to manned space flight cannot be underestimated. The fastest manned spacecraft to date was Apollo 10, which reached a whisker under 40,000 km per hour, which is TWENTY TIMES the speed of a bullet. But even travelling at that impressive velocity, it would take a manned spacecraft more than 20 years to reach Pluto (and allowing time to accelerate and decelerate at each end of the journey, it would be more like 35 years). So, if you’re planning to visit Pluto, you really need to pack more than a picnic lunch!
If you love finding out about our amazing universe, you might be interested in my book, “Welcome To The Universe: A Pocket Guide For Visitors”. It is full of incredible facts and stunning photographs of our amazing universe. For those of you who may be in Christian Education, the final two chapters, “The Uniqueness of Earth” and “Who Made the Universe” provide impressive up-to-the-minute scientific evidence for the supernatural origin of the universe. At only US $6.99 each (AUS $10.99 – check your own currency on your country’s Amazon website), it would make a worthwhile class set for a unit of work. Available on Amazon, but make sure you type in the full title and subtitle and choose the cheaper version which is in black and white (the colour version is US $18.99)
Here is the Australian link: https://www.amazon.com.au/Welcome-Universe-Pocket-Guide-Visitors/dp/0648494535/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=welcome+to+the+universe+a+pocket+guide+for+visitors&qid=1581985256&sr=8-1
Anyway, happy Pluto Day everyone!
My fiction books – available at: https://kevinsimington.com
My Christian books – available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07T9MLXMB
Blog and further resources: SmartFaith.net