How-To Geek

Is Pluto a Planet or Not? [Video]

Have you ever wondered why Pluto lost its status as a planet? This video explains why it happened and shows the set of criteria that scientists use to determine a celestial body’s status as a planet or not.

Is Pluto a planet? [via Geeks are Sexy]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 05/31/12

Comments (8)

  1. LadyFitzgerald

    After over 50 years of calling Pluto a planet, calling it anything but is a bit of an adjustment.

  2. Njitram

    Well, that was actually very educational. I had heard about Pluto being kicked out of the club but thought it was because of the size. This sounds more reasonable and acceptable.

  3. TheFu

    It is difficult to get used to the change, but it makes sense. Pluto is smaller than other non-planet bodies that also orbit the Sun. What exactly defines a planet seemed to be easier back in college during astronomy or astrophysics classes – before all the smaller bodies were discovered. With those discoveries, more exact definitions are needed.

  4. Dan

    Actually, the video didn’t say much about the criteria for calling a solar system object a planet. Sure it talked about orbiting the sun, but what about the criterion that it ought to have hydrostatic equilibrium, or the criterion that it has “cleared its neighborhood” of all significant debris?

  5. Steve

    Definition of a Planet near Sol:
    One of the 8 bodies orbiting the sun named Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn or Uranus. Under no circumstances will anything else in the system be classified as a planet, ever.

  6. LadyFitzgerald

    @ Steve. Don’t count on it. The definition of planet has changed several times over the years; it could change again. There is also the possibility of a previously undetected object orbiting by its lonesome out past Pluto that could qualifiy as a planet (granted, it’s highly unlikely).

  7. Subbrilliant

    This just in:

    The Neptunians have declared war on Steve.

    We’ll all pay for his error.

  8. Tony

    wow wouldn’t it be interesting if some day they found life on it lol

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