Pluto Loses Planetary Status

August 24th, 2006 | by Sqotty |

Time to throw out all your astronomy books as the International Astronomical Union has decided that Pluto is no longer a planet.

Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.

For those of us who have always viewed the solar system as having nine planets, this will take some adjustment. Of course, with the state of the public school system, there’s a lot of people out there who think Pluto is a Disney character and don’t know how many planets are in the solar system to begin with.

An additional side-effect is that every school in the country will have to buy new science books that describe Pluto as a “dwarf-planet” as opposed to the full planet status it hashad since its discovery in 1930.

Other objects classified as dwarf-planets include the asteroid Ceres and the recently discovered 2003 UB313 (nicknamed Xena).

On the positive side, having an agreed upon definition of what is and is not a planet will be helpful for the astronomical community for centuries. This is the first time that a definition has been developed to determine planetary status.

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