My favorite class in college was astronomy.
I initially took it just to avoid chemistry and ended up loving it. A lot of the credit goes to my professor, Dr. Tom Troland. His lectures were always filled with jokes, obscure facts, and interesting stories. We students were so busy having fun, we were surprised to discover how much we’d learned at the end of each class.
I learned a lot…like the fact that May Day, 1930 is the anniversary of the naming of the ninth planet Pluto.
Well — the former planet, I should say. It was stripped of its major planet status in 1906.
Sucks to be the last child — I’ve always said it.
Pluto lost its status because the International Astronomical Union changed the rules in 2006. According to the new guidelines, Pluto didn’t have enough mass relative to the other objects in its orbit to be considered a major planet.
Now it’s a dwarf.
A lot of people protested the reclassification; many scientists chose to ignore it. The New Mexico House of Representatives and Illinois State Senate both passed resolutions that Pluto will always be considered a planet in their night skies.
The American Dialect Society even chose “to pluto” — “to demote or devalue something” as their Word of the Year in 2006.
Did you know that Pluto wasn’t a planet anymore? Today is a good day to learn more about it.