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Is Pluto a Planet Yet? -

Is Pluto a Planet Yet? por Vintage Space   4 anos atrás

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It's the question on everyone's mind two weeks after New Horizons flew by Pluto: is it a planet or isn't it?

For the layperson, the question of Pluto's planetary status is an emotional one. People of a certain generation (namely mine) grew up with nine planets and were devastated when the planet was demoted to dwarf status in 2006. For others in the planetary sciences community, the change in moniker brings implications about validity of their work and potential funding sources -- is a planetary scientist studying Pluto suddenly not a planetary scientists after the body's demotion?

The conversation about Pluto's planetary status is interesting and can go a number of ways. Because Pluto can't totally be taken out of context from the bodies with which it shares a cosmic neighbourhood.

For more on Pluto, check out these episodes of Pluto in a Minute:
How Did Pluto Get so Far Away?
How Similar are the Earth-Moon/Pluto-Charon Systems?

Want more Vintage Space? Check out my blog on Popular Science, follow me on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter as @astVintageSpace.


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