After being demoted to a dwarf planet back in 2006, a group of scientists is discussing a new #Definition Of Planets that would reclassify #Pluto a planet again. Also, the new definition these NASA scientists are campaigning for would redefine other bodies including the Jupiter’s moon “Titan” and Earth’s moon.
Calling Pluto a dwarf planet may not seem repulsive, but calling a planet “dwarf” is not a synonym for “small planet.” Actually, Pluto only meets 2 out of 3 current criteria to be a planet, and thus, it falls short.
New definition of planets proposed
Some scientists, led by Alan Stern, the principal investigator of the NASA New Horizons mission to Pluto, have a problem with the current definition of planets. The International Astronomical Institute currently defines planets as objects that orbit the sun. However, some scientists note that this definition has a narrow spectrum as it excludes other planet-like bodies that orbit other suns or just run freely in space. They propose a new definition that states, in a simple few words, that planets are “round objects that are smaller than stars.” This new definition would exclude white dwarfs, black holes, and neutron stars from the criterion.
Does the public want to designate Pluto a planet again?
The reason behind this new debate is that the public perception towards Pluto has changed since the last downgrade. NASA scientists argue that once #The International Astronomical Institution demoted Pluto, the public lost their interest in non-planetary bodies, and consequently, this discourages space expeditions to these cosmic objects. The notion can be devastating to the scientific progress in understanding the cosmos as new objects are discovered all the time. So, what Alan Stern and his colleagues want by supporting this proposal is to revive the interest in space exploration by making Pluto a planet again and other similar objects to be noted as planets.
Popularity of Pluto
For now, the debate is still pushing on with further arguments and claims. But, apparently, Pluto didn’t lose its popularity among earthlings as the small brother of the solar system. As much as this debate seems ridiculous and maybe unimportant, the unintentional effect of not calling Pluto a planet again could be hindering future budget increases to explore new potential planets that may fall under the “dwarf planet” category, and therefore not sound as interesting.
As for Pluto, even the institute agrees it will take a long time to become official. So, this dwarf has to stay on its feet waiting for the International Astronomical Institute to decide considering Pluto a planet again.