Pluto was recently stripped of it’s planet status by the IAU 9International Astronomical Union), going from a mighty planet to a lowly “dwarf planet”. The new definition of planet states that not only must it orbit the sun and be large enough to assume a nearly round shape due to gravity, but it also must “clear the neighborhood around its orbit”. Pluto was disqualified by the last restriction, as its oblong orbit overlaps Neptune’s. Many scientist were not happy about the decision though, as many of the other eight planets, including our own, do not pass the three tests with flying colors. The presence of near-Earth objects floating around means that Earth itself has not entirely cleared its orbit neighborhood. It appears that textbook writers and school teachers may make the final decision though, as what they write and teach will be what America’s children learn.
[Photo via: Worth1000]