Is Russia Bigger Than Pluto?

Russia is not bigger than Pluto, but it is pretty close in size. The size of Pluto is 17.6 million square kilometers, while Russia only covers an area of 17.1 million square kilometers, making it slightly smaller than Pluto in size.

It was once believed that Russia was bigger than Pluto. However, when NASA’s New Horizons mission collected new information in 2015, they updated the measurements of the dwarf planet.

Why was Pluto changed into a dwarf planet?

In 2006, Pluto was re-categorized as a dwarf planet because of an updated definition of what classifies a planet. According to this new definition, in order for something to be classified as a planet, it must

  1. orbit around the sun,
  2. be large enough that gravity has pulled it into a discernible shape, and
  3. have a strong enough gravitational force that any foreign object in its orbit is pushed away.

Since Pluto does not meet the third criterion, it is considered a dwarf planet.

NASA’s New Horizons Mission

New Horizon was a mission by NASA to study Pluto and its moons. One of the discoveries that came out of this mission is that Pluto’s surface area is actually bigger than what was originally believed. The mission also came with high-quality pictures of Pluto’s surface, showing craters, most notably a heart-shaped crater, and other interesting formations on the dwarf planet.

New Horizons’ mission is to study objects in the Kuiper Belt and beyond, and Pluto is among these objects. After its study of Pluto, it flew by another Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) in 2019, the Arrokoth, the farthest it has ever been. To this day, the mission is still ongoing and is set out further into space.

Conclusion

There are a lot of unknown things that still exist in space. And thanks to NASA’s efforts and the New Horizons mission, we can discover a lot of new information. For example, people previously thought that Pluto was smaller than Russia. But now, thanks to New Horizons and the updated measurements of this dwarf planet, we know that, in fact, Russia is not bigger than Pluto. Who knows what else this mission will uncover? We can only wait and see.‚Äč