Solar system expands as astronomers redefine planets

Those discovered before 1900 would be called simply “planets” while a new sub-category of “plutons” would be introduced as a compromise between those who want to banish Pluto from the planetary club and those who want its status maintained.

The move would result in three new “pluton” planets being created along with Pluto: Pluto’s moon, Charon; Ceres, an asteroid that for several decades after its discovery was described as a planet, and the so-called “object 2003 UB313”, which was discovered in 2003 by an American astronomer and goes by the unofficial name of “Xena”. —Solar system expands as astronomers redefine planets

I had no idea when I blogged this that it would cause my children so much stress. My son (age 8), who rather notably a few years ago chose to demonstrate his sensitive side while listening to On Top of Spaghetti, reacted very strongly to the news. His nose was deep in Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone, when I came in to read him the article.

His face grew red, and he started shaking. “If they are going to kick out Pluto, they should kick out Mercury too!”

My daughter (age 4) quoted Mr. Rogers, saying of Pluto, “I like it just the way it is. I like its coldness in the snow. The snow reminds me of Pluto, and I want it to be just the way it is. When I’m in the snow, it reminds me of Pluto.”