Pluto used to be the ninth planet among all the planets in our solar system but now Pluto is no longer a planet. I want to tell u few things about Pluto and the reason behind Pluto’s no more being a planet.
Pluto was discovered on 18th February, 1930 by US astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh who was using the Lowell Observatory situated in Arizona. In Astrology, Pluto is considered as the God of the Underworld and its energies are transforming.
It’s considered that all that is ‘below the surface’ is ruled by Pluto and Pluto is ruler of Scorpio. Subconscious forces are represented and renewal & rebirth is connected to Pluto. That is why Pluto is named after the Greek God of the Underworld, named Hades,.
Pluto is the later part of the name of the Greek God Hades. Surprising fact is that the name was proposed by only an eleven year old schoolgirl from Oxford, England whose name was Venetia Burney!
When coming to Pluto’s profile interesting facts are that Pluto has 5 moons and 248 Earth years is needed for Pluto to make a trip around sun! Since astronomers discovered Pluto in 1930, it still needs 150 Earth years more to complete its very first one trip around the Sun!
Pluto has a diameter of 2,372 km and surface temperature is -229 degree Celsius. Because of this temperature all the water in Pluto is in Ice form. However, 1/3rd of Pluto is water and other 2/3rds are rock. Pluto has water (in ice form) more than 3 times of water in the Earth’s all oceans.
Pluto is so far away from Sun that a ray of light takes more than five hours to reach Pluto! Pluto’s location was predicted by an astronomer named Percival Lowell in 1915 and Pluto was also visited by an aircraft named New Horizons, launched in 2006.
However as I told earlier, Pluto was a planet but now it is no longer considered a planet. The reason behind it is the change that has come in the definition of planet. On 24 August, 2006 a new resolution outlining criteria to be a planet was made by the members of International Astronomical Union (IAU).
According to this resolution, a celestial body is a planet if –
(1) It is in Orbit around the Sun,
(2) It has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it has a rounded or nearly-round shape and
(3) It has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. It must be mentioned that if a celestial body fulfills only first 2 criteria stated above then it is called a dwarf planet.
Though Pluto was considered as a planet until 2006, it was discovered in 2006 that Pluto only fulfills the first 2 criteria of being a planet. “Clearing the neighborhood around its orbit” means achieving gravitational dominance which Pluto has not, as it shares its orbital neighborhood with other icy objects. Therefore, Pluto is no longer a planet.
Currently, Pluto is considered to be a dwarf planet among the five dwarf planets in our solar system. The five dwarf planets are- Pluto, Makemake, Haumea, Eris and Ceres, among which Pluto is the largest dwarf planet.
Written by: Ishrat Khan Mohona