Dwarf Planet Pluto: Facts about the Icy Former Planet
The following is an article authored by one contributor of space.com, Charles Q. Choi on November 14, 2017. In his article, Charles explores and reports what he considers as facts about the planet Pluto. He starts by giving necessary information about the size, distance from the sun and other planets, among several different characteristics of Pluto. Charles then goes ahead to talk about the size of the planet and how it has stirred debates and attracted a lot of controversy both to the general public and the scientific community. For instance, the author first talks about how planet Pluto was initially thought to be the ninth planet and the most distant from the sun. Choi then comes on to state that more information had been discovered including the planet’s actual size, which was slightly wider than earlier thought, and a variety of the surface features on the planet. This information, he claims, was discovered and reported by NASA in 2015.
The information written by Charles is based on a recent finding by the most proficient and skilled scientists in the world, this means that it is mostly factual although sometimes contradictive and unsure. A good example is his version of the planet’s formation and origin which is based on a hypothesis. A lot of theories for the same exist, but he sticks to his and believes it is accurate since it was reported by NASA. He has a perfect title for this article since most of the detailed information revolves around the title, though a bit fancy, it still fits1 the article. The facts he writes about are accurate and up-to-date according to the 2017 NASA reports. According to the reports from their research, Pluto is extremely cold with temperatures ranging from -375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and because of its far distance, little information is known about, they rely on pictures taken their New Horizon spacecraft. The following is a report from a similar source as Charles.
Pluto remained undiscovered until the year 1930 while it orbited in the frozen and dim outlands of the solar system. Early reports from scientists had put it that the planet Pluto’s size was almost like that of Earth. Further and detailed research, however, proved that Pluto is only about 1473 miles, which is an equivalent of 2370 kilometers in diameter. It has a sizeable heart-shaped feature that was unofficially named Tombaugh Regio, a name obtained from that of Pluto’s discoverer Clyde Tombaugh (Tate). Close photos of the heart-shaped element reveal something that seems to be a craterless plain called Sputnik Planum, a name that was also given by scientists after the first-ever space satellite. Astronauts and scientists estimate that the plain, which is mostly made of frozen carbon monoxide, is less than a hundred million years old. There are visible pits and mounds on the plain and also appears to be sub-divided into several irregular polygons. The arrival of New Horizons towards Pluto revealed more detailed information that included, Pluto has a more complex surface that is varied and has more bright patches as well as dark patches. It is covered or surrounded by a thin atmosphere comprising of carbon monoxide, methane, and nitrogen. Changes in the distance of the planet Pluto from the sun determine the thickness of its atmosphere.
[bookmark: _GoBack]Tate, Karl. “A Dwarf Planet Oddity .” SPACE.com (2012).
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