Meh. Whether or not Pluto is called a planet will not change any research (except accidentally, through possible funding routes). So this is of no practical importance to astronomers (I have a PhD in astronomy).

Common names are a cultural artefact - they are not required to follow any rigorous definition. If astronomers care so much about names they should follow the approach of biology and have a separate set of scientific names (ie genus and species) that do not overlap with common usage.

Furthermore, the IAU decision is an embarassing mess driven largely by a political squabble between two groups of scientists (those studying dynamics and formation). It is too narrow in scope (planets orbit only the sun!) and inconsistent (Neptune has failed to clear its own orbit of Pluto).

Finally, this should be discouraged because it's the kind of embarassing dick-waving that give science a bad name. It is intolerant of social norms and over-estimates the importance of a self-appointed elite.

Bad science, bad politics, bad behaviour.

post on meantioned page seems to be removed allready

comment on post in ""

1) If you propose a scientific definition, describe it properly and precise. The last paragraph of the planets definition is diffuse. "Clearing of orbitĀ“s neighbourhood" is not the same like "gravitational superior" of a certain celestial body over another.
2)To establish a system in order to memorize as less objects as possible is lazy simply and not scientific at all

best regards


Anyone who thinks Pluto should not be a planet is an idiot. I will always teach my children that there are no less than nine planets in the solar system.

We will never be conquered! Pluto shall always be a planet in our eyes, no matter what the astronomers say. Go Pluto!

I have read with some interest your "Destroy Pluto" page, and in my opinion destroying Pluto is the wrong approach. Would it not be better to dismantle it and sell off the pieces as souvenirs? "Buy a piece of the solar system's ninth planet before it ceases to be a planet at all": that sort of thing.

Now, I admit that there is a potential flaw in this scheme in that it would create an awful lot of souvenirs, some of which might be quite large. However, I believe there may also be a market for "Build your own life-size asteroid" jigsaw puzzles, and I'm sure these could be created to order as Pluto is taken apart. Either way, it seems a terrible waste to merely blow Pluto into fragments when there are more profitable options to be explored.

By the time Pluto has been completely dismantled the issue of whether it is a planet or not will have become moot. Collectors, sitting at home with their very own piece of Pluto in their hands, can safely continue calling it a planet for sentimental reasons, while members of the astronomical community can relax because Pluto will no longer be hanging around out there looking embarrassingly similar to large numbers of non-planetary objects. This would seem to be the perfect solution to the problem.