7 Reasons Why Pluto Should Be The Solar System's Ninth Planet (Sorry, Possible Super-Earth)
I'm well aware the world's scientists have come to a general consensus that Pluto is no more. Sure, the dwarf planet didn't head into a black hole or anything. (If that were the case, Earth would be in a bit of trouble, too.) It just didn't make the cut to be considered an actual planet. But with Wednesday's announcement that a team of Caltech scientists published new evidence for the existence of a ninth planet, the time is ripe for questioning why Pluto got voted off the island in the first place. Here are seven reasons why Pluto is the solar system's ninth planet — or should be, if only for sheer sentimentality.
First, a disclaimer: I can't call the International Astronomical Union's criteria for categorizing planets anything but legitimate. I get it; Pluto failed to clear the neighborhood around its orbit. (Well, actually, I don't really get that. However, I'm working under the assumption that the IAU has its reason for using this criterion.) The list that follows is merely an attempt to restore some small semblance of dignity to all those who went on for years believing Pluto was exactly what the textbooks said it was.
1. The Mnemonic Devices For Learning The Planets Would Not Have Been Made In Vain
I don't know what your elementary school told you, but I was taught to merely keep "My Very Educated Mother Just Sat Upon Nine Pizzas" in mind to remember the planets' names. If I could do that, I wouldn't forget the order of the solar system's planets. Without Pluto, you'll never know what nine things your mom sat upon. Now, who would want all that to go to waste?
2. Aren't Humans All About Giving Recognition, Even If It's Just For Showing Up?
No, but really. Humans have evolved to hand out prizes for participating, so taking away Pluto's planet status has to be going against some sort of moral principle. Take-backs just aren't allowed.
3. It Would Please A Lot Of Disgruntled Astronomers Who Were Upset To See Pluto Go
The International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to a dwarf planet in 2006, and a good number of astronomers are still pretty heated about the move years later. Some argue that planets should be determined based on shared physical characteristics as opposed to the IAU's three criteria, of which Pluto only meets two.
4. A Lot Of Non-Astronomers Would Be Ecstatic Too
I'm not even a Pluto fanatic, so imagine how happy giving Pluto honorary status would make all those folks who never got used to the idea of change.
5. Giving Planet Status To Pluto Would Make Neil deGrasse Tyson Question Everything (For Once)
The one-of-a-kind astrophysicist and cosmologist seems to have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of poking fun at Pluto's non-planet status. So allowing Pluto to stay as No. 9 would seriously throw Tyson off.
6. This New Planet Hasn't Even Been Confirmed Yet
The possible planet Caltech scientists introduced on Wednesday is so faint that astronomers have only a chance of catching a glimpse of the astronomical body in a few years. And if scientists do spot the maybe planet, doesn't an even 10 sound so much better anyway?
7. It Would Make Pluto's Day
The meme that broke the Internet's heart to match Pluto's.