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Pluto Is Still a Planet

New Horizons

The New Horizons spacecraft on its lonely way to the planet Pluto.

As far as I’m concerned, Pluto is — and will always be — a planet. I don’t at all dispute the 2006 decision of the IAU (International Astronomical Union) to classify planets in a way that excludes Pluto (and a lot of other rocks out there). Clearly without that classification, we’d end up with hundreds of new planets.  I’m just saying that Pluto gets honorary planet status; it gets “grandfathered in” as one of the original nine.

Why am I writing about this now? Well, it came up in a (real world) discussion recently, so it’s on my mind. The reason it came up was due to a discussion about the New Horizons space mission, which will visit Pluto (the planet) in July of next year — a mere 190 days away. We’ve been waiting since January of 2006 — over eight years!

And I’m not alone in insisting on Pluto’s planetary status; far from it!

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