Discovery of Pluto Vivian Nguyen

On February 18, 1930, 87 years ago, scientists discovered a new planet. It was the ninth planet of our solar system but in 2006 was demoted to a dwarf planet. It was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh, who was 24 at the time and was an amateur astronomer.

Clyde Tombaugh standing next to the Newtonian Telescope
"On average, Pluto is more than 3.6 billion miles from the sun. It takes Pluto 248 earth years to make a full revolution, and humans have only known about it for 87 years."

One day on Pluto is equivalent to 6 and a half earth days. It is also about 40 times farther than the sun than earth is. All of this goes to prove how far away Pluto is from our star of the solar system, the sun.

Pluto, named after the god of the underworld, Hades, is a very cold and barren planet. It is -400 degrees Fahrenheit and is only half as wide as the United States. Apparently it received this name because of how far away it is from the sun and how it lives in "perpetual darkness".

Hades (Pluto)

NASA created this video by taking more than 100 pictures over the span of 6 weeks. This voyage took 9.5 years and was an adventure more than 3 billion miles away.

Although some thinks there is a deep meaning or reason behind how Pluto got its name but really it was named by an 11 year old girl. On an uneventful morning while her grandfather was reading to her the newspaper article about the new planet that was discovered, Venetia Burney suggested it be called "Pluto". Her grandfather then passed on the idea to his astronomer friend who then passed it on to his colleagues at the Arizona Observatory, and the rest is history.


International Business Times - Juliana RosePignataro

The Washington Post - Sarah Kaplan

YouTube -

NASA - Brian Dunbar

Pluto - Educational facts and the history of Pluto.


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