Hate mail from third graders

Hah! Apparently, the American Museum of Natural History gets a lot of unhappy letters from children, unhappy that Pluto is no longer considered a planet.


As my friend Chris Town pointed out, Eris is actually larger than Pluto. If people are adamant that Pluto is a planet, they should be fighting even more for Eris to be included.

Interestingly enough, the IAU has had a definition for what should be considered a planet that has been used since 2006:

The definition of “planet” set in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) states that in the Solar System a planet is a celestial body that:

1. is in orbit around the Sun,
2. has sufficient mass to assume hydrostatic equilibrium (a nearly round shape), and
3. has “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit.

[Via Kottke]

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