1. It was famously “knocked down” from “planet” to “dwarf planet” by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006. (Boo! Hey, umpire, whattaya – blind???!!!!)
2. On USA Network’s TV series Psych, that reclassification has been mentioned several times, often used as something of a pick-up line. (“Did you hear about Pluto? That’s messed up.”) (Yes, I’m re-using this fact – but I can’t help it. I really like it.)
3. It is mostly composed of rock and ice.
4. He’s a little guy – with about 1/6 the mass of Earth.
5. The planet’s – excuse me, dwarf planet’s (okay, I’ll stop ribbing the IAU) – orbit is eccentric and inclined. So even though it is usually farther away from the sun than Neptune, at times its orbit takes it closer to the sun than Neptune. (Hey, I sympathize; not even a planet likes to get stuck in a rut. Let’s hear it for plucky little Pluto!)
6. He’s also a slowpoke, taking 248 years to go around the sun one time. (I sympathize; back in my school gym days, that’s about how long it took me to run once around the track.)
7. How about rotating? About 6.4 Earth days. Yeah, life is just slower on that icy paradise Pluto.
8. Five moons are known to orbit Pluto. Not bad for a little guy.
9. One of those moons is Charon, and scientists may one day come up with a new classification that affects how Pluto and Charon are related and categorized. (You have been warned!)
10. Nitrogen, methane and carbon monoxide are the main gases in Pluto’s atmosphere – so deep breathing exercises are generally discouraged.