Thursday, May 7, 2009

Pluto Takes Another Hit!

After the attempt by some people to strip it of its planet status, it seems the icy chunk of space rock known as Pluto is facing another loss.

The lady who as a little girl named Pluto has passed away.


Laurel Kornfeld said...

Venetia's passing is sad, but the controversy over Pluto's planet status is far from over. 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. Stern, who met Venetia several years ago in England, along with like-minded scientists, prefers a broader planet definition that includes any non-self-luminous spheroidal body orbiting a star. The spherical part is important because objects become spherical when they are large enough to be pulled into a round shape by their own gravity--a characteristic of planets and not of shapeless asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects.

Please do not blindly accept the demotion of Pluto, which is not fact but merely one of several interpretations in an ongoing debate.

For more on why Pluto is a planet and worldwide efforts to reinstate its planet status, visit my Pluto blog at

Teacher's Brunch said...

Thanks so much for the clarification!

I gave the post a little edit to reflect the ongoing discussion.

I am actually glad to hear that plucky Pluto is hanging in there!