and Charon

Hubble Space Telescope false-color image made using the Faint Object Camera in 1994.  The slightly different colors of Pluto and its moon imply that the two bodies have different composition and perhaps different origins.

Orbital Elements
Mean distance from Sun5,913,520,000 km    =    39.5294 astronomical units
Perihelion distance4,434,990,000 km=    29.646 astronomical units
Aphelion distance7,304,330,000 km=    48.8264 astronomical units
Eccentricity of orbit0.2482
Inclination of orbit17.148relative to Earth's orbit
Period of orbit248.54 years
Synodic period367 daysrelative to Earth
Mean orbital velocity4.74 km/s
Minimum orbital speed3.71 km/s
Maximum orbital speed6.10 km/s
Physical Properties
Mean diameter2,274 km=    0.18  Earth diameter
Equatorial radius1,137 km
Mass1.27 x 1022 kg=    0.002  Earth mass
Mean density2 g/cm3
Rotational period6.3872 days
Inclination of axis122.52relative to the axis of its orbit
Gravity at surface0.4 m/s2
Escape speed1.22 km/sfrom surface at equator
Visual geometric albedo0.3
Visual magnitude (Vo)15.12maximum, as seen from Earth
Minimum surface temperature-235C
Maximum surface temperature    -210C
Atmospheric pressureabout 3 microbars


One medium-size moon.

HomeTo my Space and Science home page  for more about the Solar System

Jeff Root
September 4, 2003