Before Pluto’s status of a planet was revoked in 2006, it stood out in several regards. Besides being the smallest planet in our solar system as well as the most distant one, Pluto also astounded scientists with its tilted orbit which sometimes brings it as close to the sun as Neptune.
Pluto today stands as one of the many dwarf planets in our solar system that revolve around the sun, though many astronomers have been trying to get it declared a planet again. Whatever Pluto’s status may be, there is no denying that it is a part of our solar system and that too an intriguing one.
So, how much do you know about the tiny planet? Do you know how far Pluto is from Earth? Find out below.
(Image Courtesy: Cal Poly)
As you may very well know, planets in a solar system revolve around the sun and are never stagnant. Therefore, the distance between Earth and Pluto is always changing. When the two celestial bodies are on the opposite sides of the sun, meaning the farthest from each other, the two are approximately 4.67 billion miles or 7.5 billion kilometers apart. However, the two celestial bodies also come as close as 2.66 billion miles or 4.28 billion kilometers. The two billion miles difference between the two figures is equivalent to making 120,000 rounds around Earth or driving almost 4900 years at the Interstate Highway speed limit.
You might also be amused that New Horizons, an interplanetary probe launched on 19 January 2006 to perform a flyby past Pluto, took almost 10 years to reach the planet. On 14 July 2015, it flew at a distance of 7770 miles or 12500 kilometers from Pluto. This is when New Horizons paced at upwards of 36000 miles per hour. Also, if you were to ever send a radio signal to Pluto, which would travel at the speed of light, it would take around 4.5 hours to reach the planet, and then you would have to wait another 4.5 hours for a response.
(Image Courtesy: CBS News)
Pluto is 3.6 billion miles or 5.9 billion kilometers from the sun. It is important to note that this is the average distance between the two bodies. The farthest Pluto can get from the sun is 4.6 billion miles or 7.38 billion kilometers whereas the closest it comes to is 2.75 billion miles or 4.44 billion kilometers.
(Image Courtesy: NASA)
You might also be amused to learn that Pluto takes one year on Pluto is equal to 248 years on Pluto, which means that it takes the planet approximately 248 Earth years to complete one revolution around the sun. Also, the planet spends 20 years out of this inside the orbit of Neptune. Therefore, things keep melting and freezing on Pluto during long seasons.
Found everything you were looking for? Do you think Pluto should be given the status of a planet or be kept as a dwarf planet? Tell us what you think through the comment section below.
(Featured Image Courtesy: How far is Pluto from Earth)