Â Very short backstory: Back in 1930, astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, discovered the dwarf planet we know as Pluto. Â Until August 2006 it was considered the Solar System’s 9th planet, and is the largest known Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) today.
Â Skepchick point of interest: A recent example of the scientific community using evidence to inform and improve. After other KBOs were first discovered in 1992 (there are now more than 1000) the 26th General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union created a formal definition for “planet;” and Pluto didn’t make the grade. Still worth studying regardless,Â Â NASA’s New HorizonsÂ mission is on it’s way to visit Pluto.Â Only 2703 Earth days to go!
Not-so-Skepchick?: Astrologers carry on as ever. Â Oh, except some wereÂ miffedÂ the IAU didn’t consult them when de-planetifying Pluto, and plan to disregard the new classification. This should not be too surprising, as the 10 “planets” of astrology don’t include the earth, but do include the Sun. Â Â Â