On Pluto

The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite PlanetThe Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet by Neil deGrasse Tyson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am a 100% Pluto “demotion” supporter. The reclassification of Pluto was based on a new understanding of how the solar system real estate is divided up; it has little to do with the size of Pluto or the fact that it hasn’t “dominated the mass in its orbit.”

I get why children and former children want to cling to Pluto is a planet. It was the smallest planet and kids could relate to it. Likewise, a lot of people don’t have a clear understanding of how science is always improving its facts and refining its terms to better fit reality; so it’s threatening to them that science textbooks have to be rewritten. But that’s nothing new; science textbooks are always being rewritten. Most of the time nobody has anything at stake and they don’t notice.

It’s a big, complicated solar system, and the so-called “planets” are just one chapter in its story. To me, that’s cool.

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