Sunday, June 7, 2009

In my opinion, we should keep Pluto as a planet. I did my 4th grade (or maybe 3rd) project on Pluto and have grown up "believing" in Pluto. In a sense it is like giving someone an award and then taking it away because you later realized that you gave it to the wrong person, or they didn't meet all of the qualifications. Instead the person should give the award to both the recipient and the accidental recipient.....back to Pluto: I think Pluto should remain a planet for tradition sake and Eris should become a new planet. Although science was not as advanced in the past and Pluto was mistakenly named a planet it can still be called a planet, and we will all know it doesn't meet the third requirement. But it is the smallest planet so therefore it should be given a little flexibility....right?! :)

1 comment:

  1. Pluto is still a planet, and its being initially named one was not a mistake. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. One reason the IAU definition makes no sense is it says dwarf planets are not planets at all! That is like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear, and it is inconsistent with the use of the term “dwarf” in astronomy, where dwarf stars are still stars, and dwarf galaxies are still galaxies. Also, the IAU definition classifies objects solely by where they are while ignoring what they are. If Earth were in Pluto’s orbit, according to the IAU definition, it would not be a planet either. A definition that takes the same object and makes it a planet in one location and not a planet in another is essentially useless. Pluto is a planet because it is spherical, meaning it is large enough to be pulled into a round shape by its own gravity--a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium and characteristic of planets, not of shapeless asteroids held together by chemical bonds. These reasons are why many astronomers, lay people, and educators are either ignoring the demotion entirely or working to get it overturned. I am a writer and amateur astronomer and proud to be one of these people. You can read more about why Pluto is a planet and worldwide efforts to overturn the demotion on my Pluto Blog at