Russia is the largest country on Earth and actually does have a greater surface area than Pluto, which is a main reason why it was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. The surface area of Russia is approximately 6.6 million square miles (17 million sq km), while Pluto’s surface area is 6.4 million square miles (16.7 million sq km). The country has a population of approximately 142 million people. Nearly three-quarters of Russians live in cities, leaving the vast amount of the country’s significant surface area hardly populated due to its harsh cold climates and being mostly covered with trees.
More about Russia:
- Russia contains one-fifth of the world’s total forests. It also is home to the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal with a depth of 5,387 feet (1,641.96 m), which contains one-fifth of the world’s supply of fresh water.
- All of Russia’s combined pipelines, such as for gas and oil water, would theoretically be able to circle the Earth six times.
- There are nine different time zones that stretch across two continents in Russia, the most of any country in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Russia's surface area larger than that of Pluto?
Yes, Russia's surface area is indeed larger than that of Pluto. According to the latest data, Russia covers about 17.1 million square kilometers of Earth's surface, making it the largest country in the world. In contrast, Pluto, which is classified as a dwarf planet, has a surface area of just 17.646 million square kilometers, which is slightly smaller than Russia's landmass. This comparison highlights the vastness of Russia's geographical expanse relative to celestial bodies in our solar system.
How does the size of Russia compare to other countries on Earth?
Russia is the largest country on Earth by a significant margin. Its nearest competitor in terms of land area is Canada, which covers about 9.985 million square kilometers. This makes Russia nearly twice as large as Canada. The vast Russian landscape spans 11 time zones and encompasses a wide range of environments and landforms, from the tundra of Siberia to the mountains of the Caucasus.
What are the implications of Russia's large size for its climate and geography?
Russia's immense size contributes to its diverse climate and geography. The country experiences a broad spectrum of weather patterns, from the Arctic climate in the north to more temperate zones in the south. Geographically, Russia boasts the world's largest forest reserves, a quarter of the Earth's freshwater with its lakes and rivers, and a variety of natural landscapes including the Siberian Taiga, the steppes in the south, and mountain ranges like the Ural and Altai.
How was Pluto's surface area determined, given that it is so far away from Earth?
Pluto's surface area was determined through astronomical observations and calculations. When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto in 2015, it provided detailed images and data that allowed scientists to more accurately estimate its size. Measurements of Pluto's diameter were taken, and with the assumption of a roughly spherical shape, the surface area was calculated. These observations have led to a better understanding of Pluto's physical characteristics despite its distance from Earth.
Has Pluto always been considered smaller than Russia, or has this changed with new measurements?
The understanding of Pluto's size has evolved over time with advancements in technology and more precise measurements. Initially, estimates of Pluto's size were larger, but as telescopic technology improved and especially after the New Horizons mission, the estimates became more accurate. It is now well-established that Pluto's surface area is smaller than Russia's. This realization underscores the dynamic nature of astronomical science and how new discoveries can reshape our understanding of the solar system.