Image pluto

Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

Beyond Neptune’s orbit there is a region, called Kuiper Belt, in which there are thousands of rocky, icy bodies. One of the biggest is Pluto which was considered, until 2005, the ninth and last planet of the Solar System. The discovery of other bodies of similar dimensions in this region, caused the international astronomical community to rethink this classification. Pluto is now considered to be a dwarf planet that is half-way between a planet and an asteroid.

To give an idea of the small dimensions of a dwarf planet, we have drawn in the figure above 3 circles: the first on the left represents Earth, the next circle on the right represents Mercury and the third represents Pluto.

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