Poor Pluto...

It’s so weird what catches the imagination of the General Public. Astronomers study so many fascinating things, and what are you all going on about? Whether or not Pluto is a planet–a total non-debate, of no scientific consequence.

Pluto has “dual citizenship.” It’s a planet because it has been a planet since its discovery, when we thought it was much larger than it is (as mentioned by . It’s a Trans-Neptunian Object because it’s a small icy body in the outer solar system. That’s the consensus of the scientific community. It’s also the offical position of the International Astronomical Society, the body that officially names astronomical objects. If the American Museum of Natural History or the Bad Astronomer (for whom I have undying respect!) else thinks differently, that’s their problem; they haven’t managed to convince the majority of astronomers. Probably because it doesn’t matter. It would cause confusion to change it, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a planet or not–it won’t change the way we study the solar system.

It might be a more interesting question if we found a TNO that was as large or larger than Pluto, but we haven’t yet.

Ack, typos. Make that “as mentioned by pluto himself CLOSE-PARENTHESIS”, please, and “or anybody else” in place of just “else.”