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All of U.S. History Has Taken Place in One Plutonian Year

Back in 2015, as the New Horizons probe was approaching Pluto, NASA posted an illustration of the dwarf planet’s orbital timeline:

an orbital timeline of Pluto's orbit around the Sun

A short piece on Vox then noted:

The entire history of the United States has unfolded in the time it’s taken Pluto to orbit the Sun once.

And that’s still true! But just barely. Pluto takes 247.94 Earth years to orbit the Sun. According to my calculations, the Plutonian year that started on July 4, 1776 will end this year on June 12, 2024 (give or take a few hours).

Discussion  4 comments

Meg Hourihan

Phew! If it were Nov 5, 2024 I’d have a solar systemic freak out!

Michael Sippey

Just like Pluto to piggyback on America’s Greatness after being downgraded to dwarf status. Sheesh.

Jason KottkeMOD

So, some folks on Bluesky suggested that we should have a party on June 12th to celebrate this occasion. Anyone have any suggestions for how to do this? Virtual party? Distributed party?

Ben Timberlake

For the First Plutonian Anniversary of America, we should submit photos or costumes of plants, animals or inventions that have been reclassified or recategorized in some way (lots of opportunity here in the plant world, including the apple:

Not sure if internal changes should really count, but in that case, the USA itself would qualify, since the reorganization of the 1780s changed it from a confederation to a federation.

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