On August 24, 2006, astronomers declared that Pluto is no longer a planet, thereby downsizing the solar system from nine planets to eight. After a week of debate, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of planetary status because its orbit crosses Neptune’s and therefore fails one of three planetary requirements. Instead, Pluto (along with Ceres and Xena) is now classified as a dwarf planet.
For seventy-six years school children remembered the order of the nine planets with the following mnemonic: “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.” (My-Mercury, Very-Venus, Educated-Earth, Mother-Mars, Just-Jupiter, Serve-Saturn, Us-Uranus, Nine-Neptune, Pizza-Pluto)
So… are we ditching pizza and switching to nuts? “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nuts!”
Now school children everywhere need to relearn the eight planets (and forget the nine planets.) What do YOU think? Is this fair? Should we pity poor Pluto? Should Pluto retain its status as a planet?
In addition to voting, you can post a comment (below the poll) if you want to explain your position.