Essay on Demotion of Pluto: Dwarf Planet

Essay on Demotion of Pluto: Dwarf Planet

Length: 1120 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

From the time Clyde W. Tombaugh first discovered Pluto in 1930, it was viewed as an oddball planet leading up to its reclassification in 2006. For decades, Pluto was once used as a benchmark for the outer reach and size of our solar system. In recent years, new discoveries of celestial bodies within the vicinity of Pluto’s orbit have challenged its planetary status. The debate over Pluto’s classification was discussed throughout several media and news articles, leading to serious controversy amongst astronomers and the decision as to whether or not Pluto should be categorized as one of the planets in our solar system.

The articles used in this essay that will cover the debate over the classification of Pluto’s planetary status were retrieved from The Globe and Mail, New York Times, CBS News and BBC News. Established authors, scientists and journalists wrote the chosen articles from around the world in locations such as Canada, United Kingdom and the United States. The articles primarily focus on the astronomer’s viewpoint from a scientific perspective, although they include some insight from the general public as well. The time frame in which the debate was covered amongst these articles begin during the late 1990’s when Pluto’s planetary speculation began, up until its reclassification in 2006 and shortly thereafter. The articles were chosen because they assess Pluto’s demotion from a scientific standpoint utilizing factual information, but also include personal opinions of the opposing views between astronomers and journalists.

The earliest referenced article that discusses the controversy over Pluto’s planetary status came from The Globe and Mail and was titled “What In The World” on January 27, 2001. At this time, many astro...


... middle of paper ...


... and scientific perspective leading up to Pluto’s demotion to ‘dwarf planet’ in 2006. Unfortunately for some, Pluto does not fulfill the three qualifications in order to be classified a planet. The decision made by Dr. Brown and members of the IAU sparked a controversial debate amongst astronomers and laypeople alike, suggesting their

decision may not have been an appropriate one. Despite the struggle to keep Pluto’s planetary status after “capping years of intense debate, astronomers have resolved to demote Pluto in a wholesale redefinition of planethood that is being billed as a victory of scientific reasoning over historic and cultural influences”14.


Works Cited

Kenneth Chang. The New York Times. “Astronomers Find Another Planet in Solar System”. July 29, 2005. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/29/science/29cnd- planet.html?pagewanted=1&_r=4&

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Demotion of Pluto from Planetary Status

- The Demotion of Pluto from Planetary Status “Pluto has been voted off the island” (Inman). In August of 2006 the celestial body was officially retitled a dwarf planet. The media’s portrayal of the demotion of Pluto began in 2006 and covered a broad variety of topics including the official ruling in Prague, the public’s reception of the decision, a book written by a scientist claiming sole responsibility for the demotion, and finally NASA’s most recent statement in 2012 regarding the dwarf planet....   [tags: astronomers, plutoid, guidelines]

Strong Essays
1389 words (4 pages)

Demotion of Pluto Essays

- The controversy of Pluto can be observed from two different perspectives, the scientific way and from the eyes of the public audience. Towards scientists despite that the solar system is exactly the same as it was in 2006, the demotion of Pluto resulted into a less vague definition of the word "Planet" and lead to a step forward in the life of science and technology. Although Pluto has many characteristics that make up a planet, it did not meet the requirements of the new definition of the word "Planet" that was proposed by the IAU....   [tags: orbits, planet, astronomers]

Strong Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Pluto’s Unforeseen Future Essay

- Pluto was given its planet hood in February 18th 1930 and was thought to be the ninth planet in the solar system for over 70 years. Pluto was discovered by coincidence while Clyde W Tombaugh was in search for planet X. In the article “When is a planet not a planet?” by David H. Freedman it goes in debt about how Pluto went from being a planet in the solar system to being a dwarf planet after extensive argument on what a planet was. The definition for the word “planet” has not always been so clear especially for scientist....   [tags: planet, solar system, IAU]

Strong Essays
899 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on Pluto: The Downgraded Planet

- Introduction Pluto will always be considered a planet to me despite what NASA and the IAU has to say about it. As a kid, I was always fascinated by Pluto; since it was the smallest of the 9 planets. The main reason was because it is the smallest of the planets in our solar system and was the last of the 9 planets to be discovered. In 2006, when I learned that Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), I was disappointed because it no longer met the newly developed criteria for it to be categorized as a planet....   [tags: plutoid, astronomy, dwarf planet]

Strong Essays
1072 words (3.1 pages)

Pluto as a Dwarf Planet Essays

- By definition from a Merriam- Webster Dictionary a planet is “any of the large bodies that revolve around the sun in the solar system which have a similar body to them”. This is not a very specific explanation and makes it hard to fully grasp what it means; at this you could easily say that in fact Pluto a planet. However if you look at a scientific encyclopedia the definition is much different and more specific. The Access Science Encyclopedia says a planet is “A) a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun B) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it can assume a hydrostatic equilibrium shape C) clears the neighborhood around its orbit”....   [tags: solar system, size, sun, IAU, astronomy, orbit]

Strong Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Demolition of Pluto Essay

- The Demolition of Pluto During a period of seventy years, it was believed that the existence of planets occupying the solar system consisted of: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Once Mike Brown and his team officially discovered the tenth planet, Xena, later renamed Eris, being slightly larger than Pluto, many scientists were skeptical as to whether Eris and Pluto should truly be considered a planet. The lingering question of Pluto’s planetary status was suddenly untenable....   [tags: dwarf planet, solar system, schools]

Strong Essays
1391 words (4 pages)

Essay on In a Category All Their Own: Dwarf Planets

- ... Because once the object is large enough to have a stronger gravitational field then it is not a dwarf planet anymore. Generally, most of the known dwarf planets have masses smaller than that of Mercury’s. The lower limit is determined by the requirements of achieving a hydrostatic equilibrium shape. Hydrostatic equilibrium is the current distinguishing criteria between dwarf planets and other Go 3 small bodies. A hydrostatic equilibrium shape means the object is symmetrically rounded into a spherical or elliptical shape....   [tags: astronomy, Ceres, Pluto]

Strong Essays
1889 words (5.4 pages)

Pluto 's And Its Effects On The World Essays

- Pluto’s Plight It all began in 1930 when Clyde Tombaugh discovered number nine (Cowen, par. 5). The definition of a planet before the IAU, International Aeronautical Union, conference in 2006, was, "a cloud of dust and gas that, at a high enough temperature is able to fuse hydrogen nuclei into helium nuclei inside its core” (Long, par. 8). Essentially, this means planets are capable to live a full life course: forming by burning to dying by burning. As Pluto aged, it could not withstand the test of time due to the technological advances in the scientific world....   [tags: Planet, Solar System, Dwarf planet, Neptune]

Strong Essays
1009 words (2.9 pages)

The Planet Is A Planet Essay

- Throughout history the definition of planet has changed greatly. The Greeks defined a planet as an object that was a “wanderer” in the sky. This was to say that a planet was an object that changes position relative to the background stars.[3] This included the 5 planets visible to the human eye (Earth was not considered a planet) and sometimes included the Sun and Moon. The definition of planet was changed and reworked until 2006, when the current official definition was created. This definition is as follows: “A planet is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibri...   [tags: Planet, Solar System, Dwarf planet, Neptune]

Strong Essays
862 words (2.5 pages)

Pluto: A Planet? Essays

- Pluto: A Planet. Many issues have arisen from the debate whether or not Pluto is a planet. Some astronomers say that Pluto should be classified as a “minor planet” due to its size, physical characteristics, and other factors. On the other hand, some astronomers defend Pluto’s planet status, citing several key features. Indeed, most of the problem is that there is no formal definition of a planet. Furthermore, it is very difficult to invent one that would allow the solar system to contain all nine planets....   [tags: essays research papers fc]

Strong Essays
1670 words (4.8 pages)