Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Fast Facts™: Pluto

Good news for fact enthusiasts: Pluto, the enigmatic ball of ice and molten lava at the edge of our Solar System, is still a planet!

Here are some Fast Facts about Pluto:

  • Pluto was named for the Roman god of war, Plutarch.

  • Pluto is composed mostly of ice, which technically makes it a comet. The last time Pluto passed Earth in its wildly erratic orbit was in 1936 during the famous "War of the Worlds" broadcast by a little-known wine salesman named Orson Welles.

  • Pluto and Earth are the only two planets in the solar system to have one moon. Pluto's moon is named Charon. Earth's moon is named The Moon.

  • No human has ever set foot on Pluto, as far as we know.

  • The planet was discovered in 1942 by Nazi scientists in a failed attempt to disprove the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard.

  • Plutonium, element number 75 on the periodic table, is composed of pieces of Pluto's tail which have drifted down to Earth. This is why the element is considered "unstable", or radioactive.

  • Pluto has one moon, Charon. It also has two other moons named Nix and Hydra. Pluto has one more moon named Pershephone, and another one named Fatima.

  • Some say that Pluto is green. This is true.


Alice said...

Dear Fact Men,

Is it true that Pluto's moon, Charon, also has its own, second "mini"-moon, rotating around it? If so, what is the name of the "mini"-moon? Or does it even have a name? Or is it not Charon at all?

Thanks for your help.

Jon Black and Britt Bergman said...

Dear Alice,

Thanks for your comment! It is true that Charon, Pluto's only moon and largest moon, has several satellites, the greatest of which is named Jeff. These satellites in turn have their own "mini" solar systems, a process that replicates itself down to the electrons spinning around an atom's nucleus. This is the basis of Einstein's theory of relativity--in layman's terms, everything is relative! Thanks again for your comment.

Anonymous said...

Do you consider Pluto to be a planet?

Anonymous said...

Pluto does not have only one moon(Charon)It actually has 3 moon. I will name them largest to smallest. Charon the biggest, Hydra the second biggest, and Nix the smallest

jessica said...

shout out to mah boo mickey!!! luv ya!!

imani said...

wutz up to mah boo ronell even though we dont go out yet!!! i luv ya!!!

Anonymous said...

Are all you people stupid or something,these people are scientists if they give you the information you should probably listen to them. I'm not saying that they know everything but they come pretty close! Usually when certain people such as scientists post something on the internet it is usually true. So just read the Pluto page and get your information!!!Catch ya on the flip side!>:(

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

PLUTO HAS 3 MOONS AND PLUTO IS NOT A PLANET ANYMORE yeah i may be a 8th grader but thats what im in, 11th grade astronomy!!!

Anonymous said...

okay im in sixth grade but i do happen to know that Pluto is named after the roman god of the underworld. His greek name is Hades.

Anonymous said...

oh and also pluto was discovered by cyde w. tombaugh using a blink comparater. Three moons. Charon, Nix and Hydra. Nix was the mother of charon in roman mytholagy. Hydra is a multiple headed beast that gaurdes the underworld. I mean really!!!! a toddler could figure that out!!!

Ruby said...

Some of these facts are very wrong, Pluto is actually named after the Greek and Roman god of the underworld and it is yellowish brown.