NPR’s science and culture blog has an interesting post up about why Pluto isn’t a planet and we should get over it. It’s something that I’ve been arguing about for a long time.
There are an estimated 70,000 KPOs (Kuiper Belt Objects) out there larger than 100 meters. More importantly, at least 3 KPOs are large enough for gravity to work its symmetric magic and pull rock and ice into a sphere. These are the newest class of solar system’s inhabitants the Dwarf Planets: Huamea, Makemake and, yes, Pluto.
With the discovery of the KPOs and, in particular, the KPO Dwarf Planets, Pluto lost any claim to being special. It was just one cinder-block in a field of cinder-blocks left over from building our solar system. It wasn’t even the biggest cinder block. In 2005 the dwarf planet Eris was found orbiting the Sun at distances beyond the Kuiper Belt in yet another new region of the solar system that astronomers call the Scattered Disk.
Face it, Pluto isn’t special.
[via Daily Dish]