Pluto loses its status as a planet


  • Sarah Zielinski,

  • Mohi Kumar


Astronomers nave accepted a definition for ‘planet’ that excludes Pluto, instead relegating that object and at least two others to the status of ‘dwarf planet,’ in a series of votes taken on 24 August at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) 2006 General Assembly in Prague, Czech Republic.

Michael Brown, the California Institute of Technology astronomer who discovered the newly classified dwarf planet 2003 UB313, said, “If you started from scratch, and you looked at the solar system as you were flying in from outer space, you would very quickly realize that there are eight really large objects in the solar system and you would put those into one category and use one word to describe them…All of the other objects in the solar system are much smaller, and they belong to these vast populations of other objects.”