As if it is not embarrassing enough to be the only planet in the solar system sharing a name with a Disney character, poor Pluto has detractors talking trash and saying he is not even a real planet.
According to media reports, attempts were made this week to demote poor Pluto from planet to "dwarf planet." Are we going to let some astronomers determine the fate of Pluto? I think not.
To paraphrase Public Enemy, "We must fight the power" (of the International Astronomical Union).
Pluto is the Rodney Dangerfield of the solar system, the object in space that just gets no respect. Perhaps Pluto wishes he had not been spotted in 1930 by American astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh, at Lowell University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Tombaugh found the planet during a search sparked by Percival Lowell, saying he thought there was a planet in that area.
There is not as much information known about Pluto compared to other planets. For a while after the discovery, Pluto was probably living the high life, enjoying being the newest planet on the block and the attention and respect that garnered, not to mention getting invited to the best darn parties in the galaxy.
Not now; that all came to an end in the latter part of the 20th century when people started to say Pluto wasn’t big enough to be a real planet. Part of the problem is that Pluto is not as large as originally thought. What was gradually discovered, though, is that Pluto had a moon, Charon. This sparked some confusion.
The book Mysteries of Mind Space & Time explains the problem: “So Pluto is not the unbelievably dense world that astronomers were puzzling over in the 1960s. It is just a small frozen snowball of a planet – or rather, a double planet.”