In BriefIn 2006, the planet known as Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf world. Over a decade later, this error is finally being corrected by astronomers. Welcome to a solar system that, once again, has nine planets.
Today is a historic day—one that will bring joy to the hundreds of millions of Pluto lovers around the globe. The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the body that is responsible for naming and classifying objects in the cosmos, has just announced that Pluto has been reclassified as a major planet.
That’s right, the little dwarf will be rejoining the ranks of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Planet-X (the planet that will surely spell doom for all humanity).
As many of you know, in 2006, the IAU made their infamous vote, deciding to demote everyone’s favorite planet to a “dwarf planet.” Their reasoning was that too many people would confuse Pluto (the doggy of Disney fame) with Pluto (the planet, of space and stuff). Immediately after this 2006 announcement, the public exploded with outrage. There were a number of campaigns launched that were aimed at ensuring that Pluto was reinstated as a planet. These met with no success.
Pluto was officially classified as a dwarf planet.
But all of that just changed, After years of deliberation, the IAU announced in a press release that they have reclassified the icy world—they upgraded Pluto back to its proper standing as a planet. “We simply underestimated the public’s attachment to Pluto. We realized our error shortly after the decision came down to demote it,” said Dr. Amy Joggy, professor at the Institute of Planetary Studies and head of the IAU’s Planetary Classification and Experimental Nomenclature Task Force. “We didn’t think anyone would really care if a little clump of ice and rock on the outskirts of the solar system was reclassified. Clearly, we dun messed up, and that makes me super sad face. Today, we take steps to correct this most grievous of errors.”
In addition to Pluto’s reclassification, Dr. Joggy has also proposed that the IAU create a new category of planet called a “hyper-planet.” These hyper-planets, according to Dr. Joggy, are like regular planets but at least two times as awesome (thanks to the fancy, fancy name).
It has also been proposed that Pluto be made an honorary member of this new planetary class. “In all honesty, we feel bad for the way we treated Pluto and, more importantly, all those that cared about it so greatly- the public showed us our error. Hopefully, the new class of planet will be created without a hitch, and Pluto will be added as the first member. It’s only fair.”
Say it with me now, “Yay!” …also, have a happy April Fool’s.