Opinion: Why Pluto is a Planet

Ask anyone you’d like, and ask them if Pluto is a planet. Chances are, they’ll say no. 

They are mistaken. Pluto is absolutely a planet! 

In 2006, The International Astronomical Union, or the IAU, made the decision that Pluto was not a planet. The requirements they made was that a planet must have enough mass to be round, or at least nearly round.  A planet must orbit the sun, and a planet must be able to clear out its “neighborhood”. These rules are extremely unscientific, considering that if these rules apply, there would be a lot of explaining to do. Many astronomers disagree with these rules, and perhaps a simpler term would be better, because they would agree that Pluto is a planet. 

It is sometimes thought that the IAU only made these rules, because they were terrified there could be many, many smaller planets beyond Neptune. This would harm science, because they voted on these new rules. Science should not be determined by a vote, it is determined by the facts. The IAU’s decision could be one of the most harmful things ever done to astronomical science. 

For example, all planets must orbit the sun. The sun, specifically. This would mean that  planets outside of our solar system, that do not orbit our sun, would not be considered planets because they don’t orbit the sun, they orbit other stars. This is an example of something the IAU forgot to oversee.  

As you might know, Pluto is considered a dwarf planet. Not an actual planet. However, this is unreasonable. “Stars like our sun are “dwarf stars” and still considered stars. So it [was understandable to consider Pluto as a dwarf planet]” – (Article from newsela.com)

Someone might disagree, by saying that Pluto does not clear out its orbit. However, Earth was not able to clear out its orbit for 500 million years. That would mean that Earth would not have been a planet then. In fact, no planet can truly clear out its orbit because of gravitational force. It pulls asteroids towards where it would orbit. So no planet can truly clear out its orbit.  “…no celestial body had “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit.” – (forbes.com)

Another reason why Pluto might not be seen as a planet is because our moon is bigger than it. So what? Saturn’s Moon, Titan, is bigger than the planet Mercury. We see Mercury as a Planet, so why should we not see Pluto as a planet just for its size? 

So, it is technically impossible for all the planets in our solar system to meet the IAU’s standards. This would mean that either no planet is a planet, or Pluto is a planet after all.