Pluto (Dwarf Planet)

Pluto (Dwarf Planet)

About Pluto (Dwarf Planet)

Pluto, formal designation 134340 Pluto, is the second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System (after Eris) and the tenth-most-massive body observed directly orbiting the Sun. Originally classified as the ninth planet from the Sun, Pluto was recategorized as a dwarf planet and plutoid owing to the discovery that it is only one of several large bodies within the Kuiper belt. Like other members of the Kuiper belt, Pluto is composed primarily of rock and ice and is relatively small, approximately one-sixth the mass of the Earth's Moon and one-third its volume. It has an eccentric and highly inclined orbit that takes it from 30 to 49 AU (4.47.4 billion km) from the Sun. This causes Pluto to periodically come closer to the Sun than Neptune. As of 2011, it is 32.1 AU from the Sun. From its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was classified as a planet.

Contributions by Curps, Urhixidur, and Bryan Derksen.