A team of scientists at NASA are just as upset as you were that Pluto was demoted from planet status to "dwarf planet" back in 2006.

“It’s bullshit,” Alan Stern, principle investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, said of the planet's loss of ranking. Gizmodo reports that now Stern is heading up a team at NASA who has proposed a new definition of planets that would return everyone's favorite member of the solar system back to its proper position as the ninth planet from the Sun.

The new definition for planets can be boiled down to a shockingly basic-sounding qualification. Under this new ruling, any "round objects in space that are smaller than stars" would be considered planets. This means that the Earth's moon, as well as other moons in the solar system would then be considered planets as well. There's also a more complicated explanation of that qualification ("a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion and that has sufficient self-gravitation to assume a spheroidal shape adequately described by a triaxial ellipsoid regardless of its orbital parameters") but that's the gist of it.


And if that happens, we'll unfortunately need to come up with a new pneumonic device for remembering the order of the planets that isn't "My Very Enormous Monster Just Sat Upon Nine Pizzas." I'm not sure if I'm willing to bring Pluto back if it means I'll have to relearn everything I was taught in the third grade.

But, it makes sense that Stern as a vested interest in making this happen. After dedicating so much time on the New Horizons mission to capturing information and photographs about Pluto, it probably stung to hear that the planet was being demoted. In 2015 Stern told Business Insider that astronomers have no place in determining what qualifies something as a planet. "You really should listen to planetary scientists that know something about this subject," he said. "When we look at an object like Pluto, we don’t know what else to call it."


Will he succeed? And will third grade curriculums across the country be thrown away, as teachers try to craft a new pneumonic device for remembering the order of the planets? It's all up to the International Astronomical Union, and only time will tell.

Sources: Gizmodo