Will Pluto Ever Be a Planet Again? One Expert Sounds Off

posted: 07/17/15
by: Discovery.com Staff
Pluto size comparison

Sorry, Pluto, but it's unlikely that your status as a full-fledged planet will be restored, according to one SUNY Buffalo professor.

"They won't sound serious if they keep going back and forth," explains Dejan Stojkovic, associate professor of physics. "If they made Pluto a planet again, they would have to re-evaluate the definition of a planet and that would then put our moon in the planet conversation. I don't see that happening."

Pluto stood out in the heavens when it was discovered thanks to its reflective icy surface, which made it more visible than other dwarf planet-sized bodies in the sky, according to Stojkovic. As technology progressed, however, astronomers began to understand that the beaming ninth planet wasn't nearly as large as we originally thought.

"We can label things what we want, but it's irrelevant because nature uses its own logic and as you can see, most of the time, the two don't match up," he adds.

Fun fact: Pluto is still a planet in New Mexico -- at times. In 2007, the New Mexico legislature declared that Pluto is still a planet whenever it "passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies".

Click here to learn more from the University of Buffalo

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