Most children of the 90s and before, grew up learning names of the nine planets with the phrase My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets”. Ten years down the line, even as Pluto ceases to be a planet, people find it difficult to get the count down to eight. August 24 marks a decade since the International Astronomical Union, in a controversial decision, had removed Pluto from the list of planets of our solar system.
When Eris, which is 27 per cent larger than Pluto was discovered, Pluto’s planethood was questioned. This led the scientists to demote it as a dwarf planet in 2006. Precisely a decade has passed and Pluto is yet remembered as a planet by this generation too.
According to reports, Pluto didn’t qualify as a planet because being minute (almost as wide as the US), it did not possess sufficient gravity to remove debris from its orbit. Amongst many other characteristics, this is one of the most crucial one for a planet to be considered thus.
However, amongst ‘dwarf planets’, Pluto is the largest. Interestingly it was named after the underworld god from classical mythology.