Pluto is the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but is less massive than Eris. The New Horizons spacecraft performed a flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015, becoming the first and, to date, only spacecraft to do so.
About Pluto in brief
Pluto is the ninth-largest and tenth-most-massive known object directly orbiting the Sun. It is the largest known trans-Neptunian object by volume but is less massive than Eris. The New Horizons spacecraft performed a flyby of Pluto on July 14, 2015, becoming the first and, to date, only spacecraft to do so. In September 2016, astronomers announced that the reddish-brown cap of the north pole of Charon is composed of tholins, organic macromolecules that may be ingredients for the emergence of life. Pluto has five known moons: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra. It has a moderately eccentric and inclined orbit during which it ranges from 30 to 49 astronomical units or AU from the sun. Light from the Sun takes 5. 5 hours to reach Pluto at its average distance of 247,000 km. Pluto is 247 years old and has yet to complete its full orbit of the Sun, since its discovery as one Plutonian year in 1930. The discovery made headlines around the globe, which received more than 1,000 suggestions from all over the world, ranging from Atlas to Zymal. The name Pluto was chosen by Constance Lowell, then Percival Lowell, after her late husband, who had founded Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1894. In 1906, Percivals Lowell started an extensive project in search of a possible ninth planet, which he termed \”Planet X\”. By 1909, Lowell and William H. Pickering had suggested several possible celestial coordinates for such a planet.
Lowell and his observatory conducted his search until his death in 1916, but to no avail. The search for Planet X did not resume until 1929. In 1930, after nearly a year of searching, Clyde Tombaugh discovered a possible moving object on photographic plates. A lesser-quality photograph taken on January 29 and January 21, 1930, helped confirm the discovery. After the observatory photographs, the discovery was telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory on March 13, 1930. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union formally define the term \”planet\” — excluding Pluto and reclassifying it as a dwarf planet. It was declared to be the ninth planet from theSun in the 1990s, but its status as a planet was questioned following the discovery of several objects of similar size in the Kuiper belt, including the dwarf planet Eris, in the early 1990s. The new name Pluto has been given to the new object, which is one-sixth the mass of the Moon and one-third its volume. It also has a stable orbital resonance with Neptune, which means that Pluto periodically comes closer to the Sun than Neptune, but a stable orbit prevents them from colliding. In the late 20th century, astronomers speculated that Uranus’s orbit was being disturbed by another planet besides Neptune. This led astronomers to speculate that Pluto could be that planet.