Fun Fact 1: The name Pluto is derived from the legendary Roman god of the underworld; also known as the world of the dead
Fun Fact 2: The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930 it was acknowledged as the solar systems ninth planet. However, in 2006 scientist reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet and stated that there are eight planets in the solar system. The demotion of Planet Pluto was a controversial decision that still causes much debate!
Fun Fact 3: Pluto was discovered in 1930 by American Astronomer Clyde William Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. The discovery was in fact an accidental, as he had been trying to locate a mysterious 'Planet X' which had incorrectly been thought to exist
Fun Fact 4: How big is Pluto? Pluto is very small, it has a diameter of 2,320 km; it is about a fifth of the size of planet Earth
Fun Fact 5: How far is Pluto away from the Sun? Pluto is 5,913 million km away from the sun. By comparison Earth is a 40th of this distance away from the sun
Fun Fact 6: Surprising fact: Pluto isn't always the planet that's furthest from the sun! For 20 years of the planets orbit around the sun it is closer in range than planet Neptune. This last occurred in 1999 and won't happen again until around the year 2227
Fun Fact 7: What is it like on the surface of Pluto? Extremely cold! Because it is so far away from the sun it is exceptionally cold; it is around -220°C
Fun Fact 8: Pluto has not been visited by a space probe, but experts suggest that it is probably made up of two thirds rock and one third ice
Fun Fact 9: Does the planet Pluto have any moons? It has one large moon called Charon which is nearly as big as Pluto itself. It also has two tiny moons which were discovered in 2006; they are called Nix and Hydra
Fun Fact 10: Pluto's large moon, Charon, was discovered in 1978 by American astronomer Jim Christy. It is named after the mythical ferryman who in Roman mythology was said to ferry the dead across the river Styx into the underworld
Fun Fact 11: Pluto is so far away from the sun that one orbit takes nearly 250 years to complete!
Fun Fact 12: Because Pluto is so far away, the sun looks like a bright star in the sky!
Fun Fact 13: Beyond Pluto... In 1992 English born astronomer David Jewitt and his former student Jane Luu discovered a band of icy, rocky bodies which form a ring. The belt was named The Kuiper Belt honour of Dutch-born astronomer Gerard Kuiper who, in 1951, had suggested that comets may originate in this region. Pluto is the largest known member of The Kuiper Belt; which contains millions of objects and more than 100,000 of them measuring over 100 km in diameter
Fun Fact 14: In 2005, a planet was discovered beyond Pluto by American astronomer Mike Brown and his California Observatory team. Originally called 'Xena' it was officially named Eris, after the Greek goddess of discord, in 2006. Eris measures approximately 2,400 kilometers in diameter; it is the furthest object discovered in the Solar System to date
Fun Fact 15: There was much debate as to whether Pluto and Eris should be regarded as the ninth and tenth planets in the Solar System. In September 2006 The I.A.U. (International Astronomical Union) released a resolution document officially classing them as 'dwarf planets'