• Question: what really happened to pluto?

    Asked by keen497aba to Michael S, Martin M, Kirsty R, Alexander DB on 15 Feb 2024.
    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 15 Feb 2024:

      Pluto was downgraded from a planet for a couple of reasons. A new rule was that a planet should clear it’s orbit of dust and debris, achieving gravitation dominance. Pluto didn’t meet this rule so was downgraded to dwarf planet.

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 19 Feb 2024:

      Kirsty is right… Basically a bunch of astronomers in the International Astronomical Union decided that pluto wasn’t a planet and so it wasn’t! To be fair to them… Pluto is not quiet like the other planets in the Solar System and shares in orbit with a number of other objects including the moon Charon which is half the size of Pluto… It’s almost as if a bigger planet didn’t quite go together a long time ago.

    • Photo: Alexander De Bruin

      Alexander De Bruin answered on 20 Feb 2024:

      Pluto is still there, but just got demoted from being a “planet” to being a “dwarf planet”

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 29 Feb 2024:

      Nothing actually happened to Pluto, but when scientists re-evaluated the requirements for being a planet, Pluto didn’t meet all of the requirements they selected. It hasn’t changed, but the rules have!