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pluto Facts

Mean Distance From Sun: 5,906,380,000 kilometers (3,670,050,000 miles).
Orbital period around the Sun: 247.92 Earth years (90,553 Earth days)
Distinguishing features: The smallest, coldest, and most distant planet from the Sun, Pluto has a dual identity, not to mention being enshrouded in controversy since its discovery in 1930. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) formally downgraded Pluto from an official planet to a dwarf planet, which is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, (c) has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite.

Pluto is also a member of a group of objects that orbit in a disc-like zone beyond the orbit of Neptune called the Kuiper Belt. This distant region consists of thousands of miniature icy worlds with diameters of at least 1,000 km and is also believed to be the source of some comets.

Zodiac Sign Rulership:

Pluto is the outermost planet in the solar system and therefore the slowest moving. At certain times however, due to the high eccentricity of its orbit, it comes closer to the earth than Neptune. This is the case up until the end of the 20th century. At the same time it is passing through Scorpio, the sign that it rules. This is a very critical period in world history, since Pluto represents powerful forces of death and destruction or change and transformation, which are now at their strongest. This can lead to destruction through nuclear war or our pollution and exploitation of our planet. On the other hand it can lead to the death of the present political and economical systems and the birth of new political and economic systems and a transformation in international relations and our relationship to our planet. By the time Pluto has left Scorpio in 1999 the issue will probably be decided one way or the other.

In the individual birth chart, Pluto's sign represents the urge for power and control either over ourselves or others. It is the need to penetrate beneath the surface of experience, to reveal hidden motivations and repressed desires. The position of Pluto in the chart indicates our capacity for self-regeneration or rebirth and our attitude towards beginnings and endings and birth and death, either actual or symbolic. Pluto can be expressed as the acceptance of our need for complete transformation in some area of our life, and the courage to face our deepest compulsions and hang-ups. Or, it can be expressed as the wilful manipulation of others, ruthlessness and an infatuation with power.

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