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Name: d c whitbeck
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
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Date: 1993 - 1999


Question:
What are Plutos dimensions?


Replies:
Based on images taken with the repaired Hubble Space Telescope, Pluto has a diameter of 2320 kilometers (about 3730 miles), to an accuracy of about 1%. It is thus quite a bit smaller than our Moon, which has a diameter of 3476 km, and much smaller than Earth, which has a diameter of 12,756 km. As you may know, Earth has a slight equatorial "bulge" (it is not a sphere, but has an equatorial diameter slightly larger than its polar diameter). Pluto is probably too small, and rotates too slowly, to have such a bulge so it is probably almost perfectly spherical.

Pluto has a satellite named Charon which has a diameter of 1270 km. It's pretty astounding that Hubble can "see" such a small, distant object!

RC Winther



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