Pluto is the smallest planet. And compared to other planets in the solar system, by quite some way. It’s therefore only natural to wonder if countries or continents here or earth are in fact, larger. But what about Australia specifically? Well, you’ll be glad you stopped by and checked. Here is why.
So, is Australia bigger than Pluto? Australia is not bigger than Pluto. In fact, Pluto has just over 2x the surface area of Australia (17.6 million km² opposed to 7.6 million km²). Equally, the volume of Pluto is just over 21x larger (6.4 billion cubic kilometers vs the 304 million cubic kilometers of Australia).
Of course, we are comparing a flat continent with a spherical planet here.
So, we need to consider this in our calculations.
But in terms of width, that’s where things get a little interesting, as we shall see below.
Is Australia Wider Than Pluto?
Australia is wider than Pluto, with a width from east to west of 4,000km. In contrast, as a spherical planet, the width (or diameter) of Pluto is just 2,376.6 km.
I think this is where it is easy to get a little confused.
Just because, it’s wider doesn’t mean it is bigger.
And like mentioned above, we need to extrapolate Pluto to make it a fair and correct comparison.
How Big Is Australia?
Australia is the sixth largest country, while also being smallest of seven continents on Earth.
Here are the important numbers for Australia in regard to its size:
- Total Area (Km²): 7,692,024.
- Total Area (Mi²): 2,969,906.
- Land Area (Km²): 7,682,300.
- Land Area (Mi²): 2,966,151.
- % of World Land Mass: 5.2%.
How Big Is Pluto?
Pluto is the smallest planet in the solar system, and around 154x smaller than planet Earth.
Here are the important numbers for the Moon in regard to its size:
- Radius: 1,188.3 km.
- Equatorial Circumference: 7,232.
- Distance From Earth: 5.1744 billion km.
Are Any Countries Bigger Than Pluto?
No countries on Planet Earth are bigger than Pluto.
Though, it was believed that Russia was bigger than Pluto for quite some time.
This hypothesis was rejected in 2015, when NASA’s New Horizon mission corrected previously incorrect estimates of the surface area of Pluto.
The new data showed that Pluto’s surface area is in fact, 17.6 million km² (when it was formally though to be 16,6 km²).
And this difference makes a big impact.
With the updated data, Pluto has a larger surface area than Russia (where it wasn’t on previous estimates, with Russia’s surface area being 17,1 million km²).
One thing to consider here though is that Pluto would fit within Russia’s east-to-west width (9,000km).
As it would with: Canada, China, United States, Brazil and India.
So, Australia is not bigger than Pluto.
But it is wider, at least when we compare the flat continent with the spherical diameter of Pluto.
But, once we extrapolate it, we soon see that Pluto is significantly larger; 2x the surface area, 21x the volume, in fact.
Related Guides you may want to check out:
- Width of Australia – https://www.ga.gov.au/scientific-topics/national-location-information/dimensions/continental-extremities
- Pluto Dimensions: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/dwarf-planets/pluto/in-depth/#:~:text=Size%20and%20Distance,units%20away%20from%20the%20Sun.
- Other data: https://www.worldometers.info/geography/largest-countries-in-the-world/
Hey, my name is Chris. I’m a passionate and seasoned astronomer who loves nothing more than observing the night sky. I also love researching, learning, and writing all things Space and the Universe. I created Astronomy Scope to share my knowledge, experience, suggestions, and recommendations of what I have learned along the way while helping anyone to get into and maximize their enjoyment of the hobby.