Space

This Day in History: Pluto Is Discovered

(Wibbitz) – This Day in History: Pluto Is Discovered February 18, 1930 Once believed to be the ninth planet, Pluto was discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ, by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh. Tombaugh discovered the tiny, dwarf planet using a new astronomic technique of photographic plates combined with a blink microscope.

Pluto was given the Roman name for the god of the underworld in Greek mythology, due to its surface temperature of -360° F. Nearly four billion miles away from the sun, it takes Pluto approximately 248 years to complete one orbit. Pluto’s only known moon, Charon, has a diameter of a mere 737 miles. In 2006, it was announced that Pluto would no longer be considered a planet due to the fact that its orbit crosses into the orbit of planet Neptune.


Associated Links

  • Minor planets
  • Solar System
  • Planetary science
  • Pluto
  • Clyde Tombaugh
  • Lowell Observatory
  • Blink comparator
  • Planets beyond Neptune
  • Charon
  • Tombaugh
  • Lowell Regio
  • Tombaugh Cliffs

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