Pluto Has Been Demoted
Not Walt Disney’s Pluto!
The Dwarf Planet named Pluto!
Guess the Covered Word
Where is the word? Beginning, middle, or end of the
sentence? What about grammatical cues?
What makes sense?
How long is the word?
Letters, suffixes, prefixes, syllables known “little
Pluto used to be considered one of the nine
planets in our solar system: Mercury, Venus,
Earth, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune,
and little Pluto. As of 2006, after a vote of the
International Astronomical Union (IAU), it is
now considered a dwarf planet instead of a
regular planet like Earth, Mars, and the others.
This seems like a demotion from a “big” planet
to a “little” planet, but scientist are just trying to
put it in a category with other similar space
This used to be our solar system…
Now it is divided like this…
Its atmosphere is not like ours, but it does
have a thin one. It is made up of nitrogen,
methane, and carbon dioxide. During its
orbit around the sun, its atmosphere goes
through a freezing and evaporating cycle.
When it is far away from the Sun, its
atmosphere gets so cold that it freezes onto
Pluto’s surface. When it orbits closer to the
Sun, the atmosphere warms up and
evaporates again, forming a gas around it.
Pluto has three moons. Earth only has one.
Pluto’s moons are named Charon, Nix,
and Hydra. Charon is the biggest one and
is half the size of Pluto. A moon is a
natural satellite in space that orbits
around the planet. Some planets have
only one moon and others have sixty or
One reason Pluto was “demoted” to dwarf
planet status is because it has not
“cleared its orbit” of large debris. If added
all together, all of the “stuff” in its orbit
would be bigger than Pluto. In
comparison, Earth’s orbit does not have
as much large debris. If you could
compile all of the debris in Earth’s orbit,
Earth would still be 1.5 million times
Named after WHO?
Pluto was named after the Roman god of
the underworld. Charon, its moon, was
named after the ferryman in the
underworld that took souls across the river
Styx. Pluto was actually named Planet X
at first, but the discoverers needed to
come up with a more permanent name.
An eleven year old girl suggested the
name Pluto, because she said that it was
dark and cold like the underworld in
Pluto and Neptune switch-a-roo
Pluto is a long distance from the Sun. It
takes it almost 248 years to revolve
around it, but in only takes Earth one year.
It is located behind Neptune in relation to
the Sun. However, its orbit looks like a
tilted oval, and there is part of it that
actually crosses inside Neptune’s orbit.
During this time, Pluto is closer to the sun
than Neptune. This happened in 1979 and
again in 1999. It will happen another time
in a couple hundred years!
Look at that orbit!
Pluto is Small
Pluto is smaller than all of the planets. It is
even smaller than some of the other
planet’s moons! Seven moons are larger
than Pluto. It is the second largest dwarf
Pluto… here we come!
NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft is traveling
to Pluto right now. It launched in 2005
and is expected to get there in 2015.
Hopefully after the exploration, we will
know even more about the interesting
dwarf planet we call Pluto.
Interesting Facts About Pluto by Fraser Cain
Accessed on October 15, 2009