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The Hardest Pluto Test You'll Take Today

You bet Uranus that you'll nail this.

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  1. KCHANDE / ThinkStock
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    The International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto from its planet status back in 2006. Today it's considered a dwarf planet, which is a rocky or icy body that it orbits the sun. Unlike planets, dwarf planets are unable to clear objects out of their orbital paths, though the definition has been a bit controversial.

  2. ChrisGorgio / ThinkStock
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    Pluto is a bit wonky: Its orbit is shaped like more of an oval than other planets' more rotund trajectories. It's also tilted 17 degrees above the plane where the eight planets orbit.

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    Via en.wikipedia.org
  3. PaulFleet / ThinkStock
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    Just beyond Neptune's orbit, the Kuiper Belt (pronounced KY-per) is a doughnut-shaped home to icy celestial objects like Pluto and other dwarf planets. The Oort Cloud is even further, and Andromeda is a neighboring galaxy.

  4. Jon Feingersh / ThinkStock
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    An astronomer discovered Pluto in 1930, but an 11-year-old girl from England named it.

  5. NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute / Via solarsystem.nasa.gov
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    Pluto has five known moons: Charon, Hydra, Nix, Styx, and Kerberos. Charon is so close to Pluto that they're sometimes considered a double-planet system.

    NASA / Via solarsystem.nasa.gov
  6. Avosb / Thinkstock
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    Pluto's surface area is 16.7 million square kilometers (sq km), which is closest to Russia's 17.1 million sq km. That's about 3% the surface area of Earth! If you're curious, Texas is around 700,000 sq km, and the moon comes in at about 38 million sq km.

  7. y_seki / Thinkstock
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    Gravity on Pluto is about 7% that on Earth, so you'd weigh about 7 pounds.

  8. Stocktrek Images/ Thinkstock
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    A celestial body farther out than Neptune that orbits the sun is called a plutoid (full definition here), and yes, Pluto is one of them!

  9. Rasica / Thinkstock
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    Nope, not even once. Pluto's orbital period is about 248 Earth years. It was discovered in 1930 and demoted a mere 76 years later. (The Price is Right sad trombone here.)

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