Does Pluto Have a Terrain?

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All of the planets generally have what we refer to as terrain. Find out if Pluto has terrain and what type with help from an experienced education professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: About Astrophysics & Outer Space
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Eylene Pirez, and I'm an astrophysicist and this is does Pluto have a terrain. And the answer is yes, generally we refer to the outer planets as gas giants but one of the reasons that Pluto was removed as a planet was because it didn't follow the characteristics of a gas giant, therefore, it was a terrestrial body and it is considered a Kuiper belt object. And let's think about how far is Pluto from the sun so we can kind of figure out what it could possibly be made out of. So if we have the sun over here and we have an elliptical orbit, this is about 30 astronomical units and this is about 50 astronomical units so as you can tell, it gets really really cold. That's very fast, that's 30 times as far as the Earth and this is 50 times as far as the Earth so everything on Pluto is pretty much frozen. Now the composition of the terrain of Pluto is rock layer that is about 50% rock and then the rest is ice. So the terrain of Pluto is an icy rock layer. My name is Eylene Pirez and I'm an astrophysicist and this is does Pluto have a terrain.

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