Pluto stripped of its title as a planet

By Jessica Chesko
September 15, 2006

“My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” the popular mnemonic device to teach children the order of the planets has now become outdated in the classroom. The once useful sentence will have to be reworded without the “P” for Pluto.

Pluto, the smallest of the nine planets and the furthest from the sun, was stripped of its title “Planet” on Thursday, Aug. 24. Scientists from all over the world met in Prague to discuss Pluto’s reign as planet and to establish new guidelines on what makes a planet a planet

After much deliberation, the International Astronomical Union decided to downgrade Pluto to dwarf planet.

According to Yahoo, Pluto was downgraded because it does not meet the new rules that state “.a planet not only must orbit the sun and be large enough to assume a nearly round shape, but must clear the neighborhood around its orbit.” The idea of “clearing the neighborhood” has to do with the objects rotation. This disqualifies Pluto from being a planet because its “.oblong orbit overlaps Neptune’s.”

The reason for the sudden change in Pluto’s status is due to new telescope technologies. These telescopes can see much farther into space. By using these telescopes, scientists have noticed objects that rivaled Pluto in size.

“I am in favor of downgrading Pluto from planet to dwarf planet status” said Dr. Joseph Smith, associate professor ofchemistry “As more is learned about our solar system, more sophisticated models are required to explain the formation and properties of the constituents of the solar system. Being much different than the other eight planets, I think it is preferable to reclassify Pluto.”

Many students here at Cabrini are not of the same opinion. “I’m surprised and upset” said Trish Tieri, a junior “Pluto was my favorite planet.”

Pluto has been considered a planet since 1930 when it was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh. Its reign as planet lasted 76 years before it lost its title to the ever changing world of science.

Loquitur welcomes your comments and questions on this story. Please send your comments to: The editors will review your comments each week and make corrections if warranted.

Jessica Chesko

Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap