Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet in 2006

On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted to define a planet precisely, eventually lowering Pluto’s classification from the ninth planet from the Sun to a dwarf planet – causing scientific and cultural controversy. The IAU, an organization that governs international professional astronomical activities worldwide, specified that a planet must meet three criteria: it orbits the sun, is spherical in shape and is large enough that its gravity eliminated any other objects of similar size near its orbit. Pluto meets only two of the criteria required to be a planet. Since it is not gravitationally dominant, Pluto is considered a dwarf planet. However, only 5% of the world’s astronomers voted to redefine, sparking controversy in the astronomy community. A student at Arizona State University, the reclassification of Pluto has also had such a widespread cultural impact,” said Skylar Grayson, Ph.D. in astrophysics. A student at Arizona State University, Pluto’s reclassification has also had such a wide cultural impact. So much so that the American Dialect Association chose “plutoid” as its 2006 word of the year—meaning “giving someone or something” a position less important than it was before.” . . “People had some kind of emotional attachment to it. I grew up and learned about the nine planets, and then suddenly there were eight.” Pluto was discovered in 1930 by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. It has an estimated surface temperature of about -360 degrees Fahrenheit and an average distance between it and the Sun. Nearly four billion miles – it takes approximately 248 years to complete one orbit.

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On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union voted to identify the exact planet, eventually lowering Pluto’s classification from the ninth planet from the Sun to a dwarf planet – causing scientific and cultural controversy.

Watch the video above to learn more about degrading Pluto

The IAU, an organization that governs international professional astronomical activities worldwide, specified that a planet must meet three criteria: it orbits the sun, is spherical in shape and is large enough that its gravity eliminated any other objects of similar size near its orbit.

Pluto meets only two of the criteria required to be a planet. Since it is not dominated by gravity, Pluto is considered a dwarf planet.

However, only 5% of the world’s astronomers voted for the redefinition, sparking controversy in the astronomy community.

“A lot of prominent planetary astronomers are very upset about that,” said Skylar Grayson, who has a PhD in astrophysics. Student at Arizona State University.

The reclassification of Pluto also had a widespread cultural impact. So much so, that the American Dialect Association chooses “plutweed” as its 2006 word of the year—meaning “giving someone or something a position of less importance than it once was.”

“There was an outcry about Pluto’s demoting,” Grayson said. “People had a kind of emotional connection to it. I grew up and learned about the nine planets, and then all of a sudden there were eight.”

Pluto was discovered in 1930 by astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. Its surface temperature is estimated to be around -360 degrees Fahrenheit and its average distance from the Sun is nearly four billion miles – taking roughly 248 years to complete one orbit.

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