Q:

Did the planet Pluto blow up?

A:

Quick Answer

Pluto did not blow up. This myth is one of several that have emerged since the International Astronomical Union designated Pluto as a dwarf planet under new labeling guidelines. Schools have adapted by teaching students that the solar system has just eight planets instead of the previously taught nine.

  Know More

Full Answer

The 2006 change resulted in Pluto being too small to meet the criteria for a planet. Prior to 2006, any large celestial body that orbited the sun was considered a planet. Though Pluto still meets this standard, it also carries small elements called planetesimals during its orbit. The eight remaining planets in the solar system do not.

Learn more about Planets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why is Pluto not a planet?

    A:

    In 2006, the International Astronomical Union changed Pluto's classification from a planet to a dwarf planet because the planet has not cleared its orbit of other objects. When a planet clears its orbit, all other objects on the orbital path are either drawn into the planet's gravitational pull or flung away from it and out of the orbit.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why isn't Pluto a planet any more?

    A:

    As of 2014, Pluto isn't considered a planet because of its size and location in space. In 2003, when an astronomer found an object in space that was beyond Pluto and also larger than Pluto, it caused scientists to reconsider what constitutes a planet.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happened to Pluto?

    A:

    In 2006, the International Astronomical Union redefined the criteria for what qualifies as a planet, causing Pluto to lose its designation as such. As of 2014, Pluto is considered one of five dwarf planets, with the other original eight planets maintaining their position in the solar system.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is Pluto no longer considered a planet?

    A:

    According to National Geographic, the primary reason Pluto was demoted from planet to dwarf planet status is its size relative to its satellite. All the other planets with moons are much larger than their satellites, while Pluto is only about twice the size of its moon, Charon. Since Pluto does not "dominate its neighborhood," the International Astronomical Union demoted the planet in 2006.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore