The day the Solar System lost a planet
I can’t believe that five years ago today, the 24th of August, Pluto was demoted from planet to the category of dwarf planet.
Pluto is not a big object, and since it’s discovery in 1930 we’ve found a number of other objects that are of a similar size, or even larger. If Pluto is considered a planet, then science would also have to consider other similar bodies to be planets as well, including asteroids and Kupier belt objects.
By the time we mark the 10th anniversary of this infamous decision, we’ll know a lot more about Pluto.
NASA’s New Horizons probe is currently on course for a fly-by in July 2015, giving us the first up-close look at what was once the only (former) planet a probe hadn’t visited.
Sadly, it won’t have time to stop and look around. After a journey lasting nearly 10 years, it will whip past Pluto travelling at 43,000kph or 27,000mph, on it’s way to the Kupier belt, which is it’s real destination.
Until then, Pluto will remain a blur in our telescopes, or a guesstimate in Solar Explorer.