What kinds of gases make up Pluto?



  1. 0 Votes

    Pluto does not quite have an atmosphere, not in the way that Earth does.  However, there is one gas that is consistently there: nitrogen.  Pluto’s orbit makes for an interesting cycle with the presence of nitrogen.  Nitrogen is often present in the form of little clouds or on Pluto’s surface as a solid.  When Pluto gets closer to the Sun, the solid nitrogen on the surface subliminates (aka goes straight from solid to gas – think dry ice), and turns into clouds.  However, Pluto doesn’t have strong enough gravity to hold these clouds, so they often drift into space.  When the planet moves farther away from the Sun and cools, these atmosphere (clouds) refreeze and become solid nitrogen on the surface again.

  2. 0 Votes

    For the purpose of clarity, Pluto is not a gaseous entity, it is terrestrial. This means it isn’t like the other gaseous outer planets, but more closely resembles the inner planets. As smirrah said, when Pluto’s orbit shifts toward the Sun, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and methane on Pluto’s surface heat up, temporarily forming an atmosphere.

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