WHAT I'M LEARNING FROM PLUTO

Many kids—and even lots of adults—were talking about the planet Pluto last summer. A group of professional and amateur astronomers called the International Astronomical Union (IAU) got together to think about the questions "What is a planet?" and "Is Pluto a planet?"

The IAU had discussed these questions several years earlier, but hadn't come up with answers that lasted. Everybody wanted to get into the act, as if their happiness depended on what the group decided. This time, they had lots more to go on than before. Modern telescopes and cameras have found more than 100,000 new small solar system bodies in the past 20 years. Armed with new information, and realizing that Pluto was very different from all of the other planets, the IAU decided that Pluto shouldn't be called a planet anymore. Instead, they put it at the top of a new list called "dwarf planets." When news of this decision broke, some folks seemed very sad, almost as if they had lost a special friend.

NEXT IN THIS ISSUE
Article
TO FIND THE HEART OF HOME
January 15, 2007
Contents

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.

Submit