No, it's not.

What Is Pluto?

Pluto is a dwarf planet. A dwarf planet travels around, or orbits, the sun just like other planets. But it is much smaller.

Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930. He was an astronomer from the United States. An astronomer is a scientist who studies stars and other objects in space. Venetia Burney named Pluto that same year. She was an 11-year-old girl from England.

Pluto is not very big. It is only half as wide as the United States. Pluto is smaller than Earth's moon. This dwarf planet takes 248 Earth years to go around the sun. If you lived on Pluto, you would have to wait 248 Earth years to celebrate your first birthday. One day on Pluto is about 6 1/2 days on Earth.

Pluto is about 40 times farther from the sun than Earth is. Pluto is in an area of space called the Kuiper (KY-per) Belt. Thousands of small, icy objects like Pluto but smaller are in the Kuiper Belt.

This dwarf planet has five moons. Its largest moon is named Charon (KAIR-ən). Charon is about half the size of Pluto. Pluto's four other moons are named Kerberos, Styx, Nix and Hydra.

Source: NASA


Why is there debate about whether Pluto is a planet?

In 2006, Pluto was voted out of the planetary club by members of the International Astronomical Union

Resolution 5A was revealed at the IAU's conference in 2006, and gave the following definition of a planet in our Solar System.

"A 'planet' [1] is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit."

The current definition means Pluto is currently known as a dwarf planet.

A dwarf planet is a planetary-mass object that is neither a planet nor a natural satellite. That is, it is in direct orbit of a star, and is massive enough for its gravity to crush it into a hydrostatically equilibrious shape (usually a spheroid), but has not cleared the neighborhood of other material around its orbit.

Sources: BBC News , Wired UK and Wikipedia


However, a NASA scientists want to make Pluto a planet again

The demotion of the planet is quite simply “bulls***,” Alan Stern, principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto told Business Insider in 2015.

In a proposal sent to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for approval, the team suggests that a new definition of a planet, that is more in line with “scientific classification and peoples’ intuition.”

“In the mind of the public, the word 'planet' carries a significance lacking in other words used to describe planetary bodies,” the proposal states. “In the decade following the supposed 'demotion' of Pluto by the International Astronomical Union, many members of the public, in our experience, assume that alleged 'non-planets' cease to be interesting enough to warrant scientific exploration.”

The scientists suggest planets should constitute as “round objects in space that are smaller than stars,” thus excluding white dwarfs, neutron stars, and black holes from the planetary status.

Source: USA today


Pluto's status might change again... We'll keep you posted ;)


I love pluto


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