Dwarf planet Pluto with a heart-shaped feature showing.


Pluto was once our solar system's ninth planet, but has been reclassified as a dwarf planet. It's located in the Kuiper Belt.

About Pluto

Pluto is a dwarf planet located in a distant region of our solar system beyond Neptune known as the Kuiper Belt.

Pluto was long considered our ninth planet, but the International Astronomical Union reclassified Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006. NASA's New Horizons was the first spacecraft to explore Pluto up close, flying by in 2015. Pluto was discovered in 1930 by astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. It was named by 11-year-old Venetia Burney of Oxford, England.

Get the Facts
Pluto is reddish and has a heart shape lighter patch in the lower right half of this image from the New Horizons spacecraft.
Pluto nearly fills the frame in this image from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft taken on July 13, 2015, when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface. This is the last and most detailed image sent to Earth before the spacecraft's closest approach to Pluto on July 14, 2015.

Pluto by the Numbers

How big is Pluto? How far is it from the Sun?

Use this tool to compare Plutoto Earth, and other planets.

Analyze and Compare
A composite image with Pluto's moon, Charon behind Pluto. Both worlds appear reddish with tan features in this enhanced color image.
A composite of enhanced color images of Pluto (lower right) and Charon (upper left), taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft as it passed through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015.
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Exploring Pluto

NASA's New Horizons was the first and, so far, the only mission to Pluto.

New Horizons also was the first mission to explore the solar system's recently discovered "third zone," the region beyond the giant planets called the Kuiper Belt.

Learn More About Exploring Pluto
An artist's concept shows a spacecraft flying over the limb of Pluto with the moon Charon and the Sun in the background.
An artist's concept of New Horizons at Pluto with its largest moon Charon in the background.
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Moons of Pluto

Pluto has five moons.

Pluto's largest moon, Charon, is about half the size of Pluto, making it the largest known moon relative to its parent planet in our solar system. Pluto's other moons are: Styx, Nix, Kerberos, and Hydra

Learn About Pluto's Moons
An illustration showing four smaller, irregularly shaped moons over the edge of Pluto's largest moon, Charon
This composite image shows edge of Pluto's largest moon, Charon, with Pluto's four smaller moons above it.
Eyes on the Solar System lets you explore the planets, moons, asteroids, and comets.
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