The Inglis's Pluto Page
- A body that circles the sun without being some other object's satellite (meaning it is not a Moon of some other planet).
- Is large enough to be rounded by its own gravity.
- But not so big that it ignites nuclear fusion (like a star).
- And has cleared its orbital path of other orbiting bodies.
The official name for Pluto is 134340 Pluto.
A dwarf planet is a planetary-mass object that is neither a planet nor a natural satellite. That is, it is in direct orbit of a star, and is massive enough for its gravity to crush it into a hydrostatically equilibrious shape (usually a spheroid), but has not cleared the neighborhood of other material around its orbit.
Another hundred or so known objects in the Solar System are suspected to be dwarf planets. Estimates are that up to 200 dwarf planets will be identified when the entire region known as the Kuiper belt is explored, and that the number may exceed 10,000 when objects scattered outside the Kuiper belt are considered.
249 year orbit
In order of distance from Pluto, they are Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos,
and Hydra. Charon, the largest of the five moons, is mutually tidally
locked with Pluto, and is massive enough that Pluto–Charon is
sometimes considered a double dwarf planet.
Mission to Pluto
New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as a part of NASA's New Frontiers program. Engineered by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) and the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), with a team led by S. Alan Stern, the spacecraft was launched in 2006 with the primary mission to perform a flyby study of the Pluto system in 2015, and a secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) in the decade to follow.
New Horizons is the fifth of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity that will allow them to leave the Solar System.
Discovered by Clyde W. Tombaugh
Thanks must go to Clyde W. Tombaugh on February 18, 1930