After being declassified as “planet” in 2006, there’s new hope for the little blob of celestial body called Pluto to be reclassified as a planet of the solar systems with all its dignity as a bunch of experts now say that the reason it was demoted in the first place isn’t valid. Even after 12 years, we don’t know what on earth Pluto is.
Rewinding back to 2006, a bunch of physicists from the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) said that the then-ninth planet of our solar system – Pluto uses its neighbour Neptune’s gravity and hence doesn’t completely define to be a planet. And then the world embraced the said-fact that Pluto is sharing its orbit with frozen gases and objects in the Kuiper Belt and was merely an object that happened to be misunderstood as a planet since years. After being demoted from the status of being a planet, Pluto was defined to be merely a celestial body, we became a family of 8 planets instead of 9 with Neptune being the last one.
Fast forwarding 12 years, the drama with Pluto’s planetary status simply won’t die and still remains a never-ending debate. Philip Metzger, the author of the new study published online Wednesday in the journal Icarus said that the reason for declassification of Pluto as a planet was invalid and based on “sloppy definition” of planet. Researching about the same, Metzger went through scientific literature from the past 200 years and found only one publication from 1802 that used the clearing-orbit requirement to classify planets, and it was based on since-disproven reasoning. So if the same reason was taken literally, “then there are no planets, because no planet clears its orbit.”
Further, Metzger referred to IAU’s condition that any celestial object is a true planet if is sufficiently large enough that gravity has moulded it into a spherical shape. With that definition, Pluto is very-much of a planet. Pluto, in fact, as per Metzger, is more complicated than other planets of our solar system and there are chances that it holds a hidden ocean beneath its surface as well as an atmosphere containing organic compounds and five satellites – that is even more alive than what Mars is; making it the second most complex planet (yes, Pluto the planet), after Earth. So Pluto might just be reclassified as a planet.