Saturday, July 24, 2021

Pluto, The untold story

When I was a kid, I studied that there are 9 planets in our solar system, but this isn’t the same now. I love pluto and I think you too, is not a planet anymore. On 24 August 2006, a new category was made where Pluto was included. Today we will talk about Pluto, and we will also cover the topic such as why Pluto is not a planet anymore.

So let’s find out, what’s wrong with Pluto, that it was evicted from the category of planets.


Discovering The Pluto



In 1840 a French scientist named Urbain le Verrier has discovered Neptune planet with his mathematical calculation. he saw that something was affecting the orbit of Uranus. So in order to find that object, he discovered Neptune

But still, after the observation of Neptune, the astronomers noticed that not only the Neptune but also anything else was affecting the orbit of Uranus.

All the astronomers started researching about that object. And then in 1906, an American mathematician named Percival Lowell started a project named “the search of a possible ninth planet” planet X.

But due to some bad conditions and problems, it was closed. Then in 1929 Lowell’s, this project was reopened and the Clyde Tombaugh became in charge. After the hard work of 1 year, finally he discovered Pluto on 18 Feb 1930.




The First Observations of Pluto

After this discovery, Clyde Tombaugh became very popular with this discovery. pluto also became very popular and a new member of the solar system.

In the first observations of Pluto, we find the Pluto has an equivalent mass to the earth. but then as we get more knowledge about pluto the scientists saw that pluto was very small.



When in 1978 when we discovered Pluto’s moon Charon, then we get able to measure the real mass of pluto. Which was only 0.2 percentage that of the mass of the earth.

And because the pluto was very small even it can’t affect Uranus’s orbit, it was evicted from lowells project

But it was still in the planet’s category, and still, we don’t have a clear picture of pluto. All astronomers and scientists started to study pluto.


The Probe to Pluto(New Horizons)

in order to know more about pluto, we needed to launch a probe to pluto, to know the shape and other things about Pluto, but it was not too easy. It must be launched on correct timing, angle, and other important things. Only with a single mistake, we can lose our aim.



then on 19, Jan NASA launched its new horizons spacecraft to Pluto, which was the first craft sent to Pluto. It was going to take about 9 years and 5 months to reach pluto.

To make the new horizons fast on pluto we took the help of Jupiter because it was in the way of new horizons. The Jupiter was provided a gravitational slingshot to the new horizons caused an increase in the speed of the new horizons.

And then on 5 JAN 2015, it reached Pluto. But Pluto was not only the main mission of the new horizons it also needs to go to the Kuiper belt which was after the pluto

So we don’t have much time to study Pluto. But still, in a short time, the new horizons provided us so much knowledge about Pluto.


New Rules for All Planets in Universe

Did you know, ashes of Clyde Tombaugh (discoverer of Pluto) were also sent to pluto with new horizons. Which was a very proud moment for Clyde Tombaugh.

When in 2005 the Eris was discovered, which was another planet and farther from Pluto. It was also 27 percentage more massive than pluto.

With this discovery, the IAU (international astronomical union) was forced to redefine the definition of the planets.



And on the 26th general assembly, they make few new rules for all plants in the universe to declare a planet easily.

The rules
  • It must orbit a star (in our cosmic neighborhood, the Sun).
  • It must be big enough to have enough gravity to force it into a spherical shape. And can stay in a circular shape.
  • It must be big enough that its gravity clears away any other objects of similar size near its orbit around the Sun. Means it must keep it’s surrounding clear.


why is pluto a dwarf planet

The pluto has followed both first two rules. But it was unable to the 3rd one which was, a planet must have much ability that it can keep its orbit and surround clear.

It was the only unfollowed criteria by pluto, and then it was listed in a new category, the dwarf planet’s category. But not only the one dwarf planet in solar there other planets such as Eris, ceres, and Haumea who orbit the sun.

the biggest helper in this mission was the new horizons. the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh’s body is still traveling in space with new horizons.

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