No matter what IAU says, Pluto is a planet

On this day, 7 years ago, a group of scientists thought they were authorized to rewrite history. By redefining the definition of a planet, they just erased Pluto from the list of the 9 orbiting the Sun.

I’m not going to weight the pros and cons astronomers still debate on the topic. I’ll just talk about history. History of science is a wonderful thing, and it’s also the way the mass of ordinary people, those who don’t have a Ph.D in astrophysics, understand the universe. Pluto’s discovery made it enter the planet’s family because it has been detected at a time where planet hunting was opening our eyes to space, paving the way for space exploration.

Imagine that a group of scientists which could fit in an old fashioned phone booth would decide to rewrite the definition for “continents”, and that subsequently Australia wouldn’t fit in anymore, would we write it off all our geography and history book, saying it’s not a continent anymore?

Whatever scientific reasons, Pluto got the label “Planet”, and should never lose it, even if it has to be an exception to a global astronomical rule. For me, and for many others who have learned astronomy with Pluto being the ninth planet, it will always remain a planet.

Image credits: NASA