Pluto's Journey: 9 Milestones in the History of the Dwarf Planet

 May 9th , 2024


1930: Discovery Clyde Tombaugh, a young astronomer, discovers Pluto at the Lowell Observatory after a meticulous search.

1978: Charon, Pluto's Moon Astronomers discover Pluto's largest moon, Charon, revealing it's more than a lone object in the Kuiper Belt.

1992: The Kuiper Belt The discovery of other objects beyond Neptune confirms Pluto is part of a vast region of icy bodies.

2006: Demoted to Dwarf Planet The International Astronomical Union reclassifies Pluto, sparking debates about the definition of "planet."

2015: New Horizons Flyby NASA's spacecraft sends back the first close-up views of Pluto, revealing a complex, active world.

2016: More Moons New Horizons images lead to the discovery of four additional, smaller moons orbiting Pluto.

2019: Ultima Thule Exploration New Horizons probes a Kuiper Belt object further out, expanding our understanding of the solar system's edge.

2021: Atmosphere Surprise Telescope observations hint at a denser atmosphere around Pluto than expected, adding another layer of mystery.

2023: Neptune's Orbit Pluto completes its first full orbit since its discovery! It takes about 248 Earth years to circle the Sun.