the dwarf planet
Pluto was thought to be the god to whom all men must eventually go. Romans believed him to be the god of the underworld. In Greek mythology, he is known as Hades.
How much would you weigh on Pluto? :
Because Pluto is so small you would be very light if you visited. If you weigh 70 pounds (32 kg) on Earth, you would only weigh 4 pounds (2.5 kg) on Pluto.
The Dwarf Planet
Pluto was the only planet to be named by a kid. After the planet was discovered in 1930, an 11-year-old girl who lived in Oxford, England, by the name of Venetia Burney, suggested that this new planet needed to be named after the Roman god of the underworld. Venetia's grandfather sent this suggestion to the Lowell Observatory and the name was accepted.
Pluto is smaller than 7 of the moons in the Solar System. It is about two-thirds smaller than Earth's moon. Because it is so small, many scientists don't consider it a planet at all. In 1999, a group of scientists attempted to re-classify Pluto as a comet. On August 24, 2006, Pluto's status was officially changed from planet to dwarf planet. For decades, children have been taught in school that there are nine planets in our Solar System. However, with this change, there are now only eight planets. Also because of this change, there is a new category of small planets known as plutoids.
The Hubble Space Telescope has provided the clearest images yet of this dwarf planet for scientists to study. Studies of Pluto and its moon are still being conducted today with the Hubble Space Telescope. However, little is still known about Pluto and its moons because it is so far away.
Pluto has 4 moons. The largest is named Charon. Charon is only slightly smaller than its parent Pluto. For this reason, Pluto and Charon are often called a double planet system. The Earth and its moon, Luna, are sometimes considered double planets. Pluto's two other moons are called Hydra and Nix. The newest moon, only recently discovered by the Hubble Space Telescope in the summer of 2011, is temporarily named P4. It is located between the orbits of Nix and Hydra.
Fast Fact :
Pluto revolves around the Sun in an orbit that is not exactly circular like the rest of the planets. Rather, Pluto's orbit is more of an oval or egg shape. Because of this, Pluto will orbit inside of Neptune's orbit, which makes Pluto closer to the Sun than Neptune at times. Also, its orbit does not lie flat in the same plane as the rest of the planets. Pluto's orbit is tilted so it orbits above and below the other planets' orbits in our Solar System.