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Pluto Day 2024 (US): History, FAQs, Dates, and Activities

Pluto Day 2024 commemorates the discovery of the icy planet by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, marking the thirty-first anniversary of its discovery.

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Pluto Day 2024 (US) History, FAQs, Dates, and Activities

Pluto Day 2024 (US): Annually observed on February 18, Pluto Day marks the thirty-first anniversary of the planet’s discovery. The icy planet, distinguished by its diminutive size and distinctive icy mountains, was first identified by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. Before 2006, it was regarded as one of the nine planets comprising the solar system, alongside Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto was identified by Clyde at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, precisely 84 years after the revelation of Neptune.

An Overview of Pluto Day

Annually, Pluto Day is observed to mark the thirty-first anniversary of Pluto’s discovery. While Pluto was officially identified in 1930, the narrative surrounding its discovery began in 1840, when French astronomer Urbain Le Verrier detected irregularities in Uranus’ orbit that suggested the existence of a planet beyond the planet. The eventual discovery of Neptune was made possible by the mathematical calculations that he devised to explain the irregularities of Uranus’ orbit about the laws of planetary motion and gravity, guided by his intuition.

Following the discovery of Neptune, an occurrence that is generally acknowledged as a confirmation of a branch of an astronomical methodology known as celestial mechanics, The continuous irregularity in Uranus’ orbit led to the conclusion that yet another planet was interfering with its trajectory. Subsequently, Percival Lowell assumed leadership of the hunt for Pluto, which was originally designated Planet X. Following Lowell’s demise, the search for Pluto was transferred to Clyde Tombaugh, who ultimately achieved its discovery.

Before 2006, the planet, which was designated with the name of the Roman deity of the Underworld, was regarded as one of the nine planets comprising the solar system. The planet in question was designated a “dwarf” planet by the International Astronomical Union because it failed to satisfy the requirements for full-sized planet status and was only two-thirds the size of the Earth. The attribution of the initial two letters of the name ‘Pluto’ to Percival Lowell, whose conviction that extraterrestrial bodies existed beyond Neptune, is thought to have contributed to the impetus behind its eventual discovery.

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Pluto Day 2024 (US) FAQs

What is the tradition for Pluto Day?

On Pluto Day, learn more about astronomy by attending a nearby planetarium or viewing a documentary about Pluto. You could even construct a telescope to peer into outer space through the darkness of the night sky in an attempt to locate known planets or even discover one.

Does Pluto remain a planet?

The International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto from a full-sized planet to a dwarf planet in 2006.

What does one year on Pluto entail?

The duration of 153.3 hours, or 6.4 Earth days, is equivalent to the time its complete orbit around the sun requires. A complete year of it corresponds to 248 years on our planet.

Day of Pluto Activities

View a documentary concerning Pluto.

Observing a documentary concerning Pluto is arguably the closest one can get to visiting the planet or commemorating it on Earth. Numerous documentaries, including “The Year of Pluto,” “Mission Pluto,” and “Chasing Pluto,” offer an excellent opportunity to travel to the planet and experience it firsthand from the perspective of astronauts. You could even use the hashtag #PlutoDay to express your thoughts on social media regarding any of these documentaries.

Consider the constellations

A further intriguing method to observe Pluto Day is to delve into astronomy books and research papers that describe life on every known planet and the properties of the various planets in our universe. Additionally, for information regarding the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) ongoing missions, one may visit its website.

Construct a telescope

Observatories, planetariums, and other institutions specializing in the study of the solar system would customarily organize special events on Pluto Day. Nevertheless, you may develop a more profound fascination with constructing an individual telescope to explore outer space via the night sky, to locate established planets, or potentially uncover a new one.


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