Blog #5: Pluto’s Demotion

Several years ago, as I’m sure we all remember, Pluto was demoted from Planet status to Dwarf Planet status. This change was an interesting (and controversial) one because Pluto essentially remains in limbo between the two classifications. Pluto was the smallest planet in the solar system–but it’s now the largest dwarf planet in the solar system. This change in classification has prompted everything from satirical car stickers to scientific proposals that would change the definition of a planet so that Pluto could be a planet again.

Part of what makes Pluto so fascinating is that we know very little about Pluto relative to some of our closer Solar System neighbors. Below, you’ll see a gorgeous image of Pluto, revealing what scientists believe might be evidence of former volcanic activity. The red ice found on the planet might mean that the planet recently ejected pockets of water into space. Many scientists and astronomers alike are excited by this discovery because it tells us that Pluto might contain a sub-surface sea, according to scientists.

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An image of Pluto, revealing the peaks and cracks along the surface, possibly indicating past volcanic activity.

One thought on “Blog #5: Pluto’s Demotion

  1. Pluto’s demotion is not the first time in history that a “planet” has been demoted. In the 1800s, there were 11 planets until astronomers realized that three of them were a new category called asteroids. I highly recommend the book, “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming,” by Dr. Mike Brown. Dr. Brown is the one of the researchers that discovered the other dwarf planets that lead to Pluto’s demotion. He also doesn’t care for the term “dwarf planet.” The book is written so that everyone can understand the process.

    Also, I would rather we just have eight planets because if we reinstate Pluto then we would have to instate the other dwarf planets. We would have around 13 planets then.


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