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The Pluto Debate Rolls On

I just read an interesting article from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific [1] (an international astronomy education organization), it’s a take on the whole Pluto debate – from the point of view of someone defending Ceres, rather than someone defending Pluto. My opinion remains strong: I think that the IAU reclassification of Pluto is great, engenders wonderful classroom debates, and doesn’t demean Pluto in any way. It’s just an opinion though.

Mark Sykes [2], the author of the article, raises one very good point though. He claims that most planetary scientists do not belong to the IAU, and they’re the ones who should be classifying objects as planets, plutoids, and whatever. He’s right – there’s no reason for planetologists to join the IAU. And, they are the ones studying planets.