Celestial Plutoids? Shoulda Used Preparation P
Scientifically, there really is no question [that Pluto should be reclassified]. Either Pluto is not a planet, or many other things are planets. Which is a better choice? I want my planets to be more special, not less special, so I favor Pluto not being a planet.”
Delisted from the pantheon of celestial bodies back in 2006 for its weaker than expected planethood, and then pronounced second best to Eris, its recently discovered neighbor, Pluto is no longer the solar system’s bastard stepchild. Yesterday, the International Astronomical Union, which struck Pluto from the planetary rolls, decreed that all “transneptunian dwarf planets similar to Pluto” will henceforth be called “Plutoids.” Pluto shares the designation with Eris, the only other … non-planet to meet the IAU’s criteria for Plutoidenism.
The IAU clearly views the new classification as an honor for the humbled Pluto, but to Plutevangelists it’s just one more insult. “It’s just some people in a smoke-filled room who dreamed it up,” Alan Stern, a former NASA space sciences chief and principal investigator on a mission to Pluto, told the Associated Press. “Plutoids or hemorrhoids, whatever they call it. This is irrelevant.”