Why is Pluto not a planet? The question is in many people’s minds. There are many possibilities as to the origins of the planet. Some believe that it was once a very large planet like our own, and that it was pulled out of its original position by gravity. Others believe that it was swallowed up by Jupiter and became part of its own system.
What is Pluto? How did it get here? (And does it even have a name?) For the answer to these questions and more, try this. Using an Internet search, type in “what is Pluto” or “planets outside the solar system.” You’ll get several results, some more believable than others.
Perhaps the most popular explanation is that Pluto is really a dwarf planet. A dwarf planet is an irregularly shaped planet that is very similar to the Earth. It is very similar to our planet and much smaller in size. So when NASA’s New Horizons space probe visited it in July 2021, what it found was that it was very slightly oblate, nearly as if it was jelly dough. That discovery gave scientists a clue that the planet had once been bigger in diameter.
Another way to explain the recent finding is that the New Horizons craft didn’t really see a big planet when it went past. It went by many close stars and other stars that it was hoping to pass by, but it never got quite as far as Pluto. It could very well be that the star it was aiming for wasn’t that close to the dwarf planet. And when it did come close, the space rock quickly escaped from the spacecraft’s range. That discovery is still puzzling, because there aren’t many other similar objects in the solar system.
So the latest big is Pluto debate is likely to continue for some time. Some people believe that the object must have left Earth by some kind of cosmic dust storm. This would explain its small size, and its inability to be seen by the Earth-based telescope. It is also possible that astronomers are simply waiting for more research to be done on the dwarf planet.
If you want to learn why is Pluto not a planet, then you might want to start with your school science teacher. He or she may have a more logical explanation for the big-spot’s unexplainable disappearances. If nothing else, your teacher may have some suggestions about telescopes and other space exploration. You can also try asking your friendly neighborhood Astronomer buddy.
Now, if you want to be more literal about this question, “Why is Pluto not a planet?” another question to ask is “What does this ‘asteroid’ thing mean?” There is one asteroid that passed very close to our planet. One theory is that it was something like a comet, and that it was brought into the inner system by collisions with other smaller icy bodies. And since comets generally contain frozen material, they would not be able to hold such a big amount of ice; therefore it is most likely that this is what caused Pluto’s distant escape.
A big question, but one that are worth asking. Why is Pluto not a planet? While it is certainly not as exciting as the moon or as unique as the sun, it is still a planet. And while we may never know the truth about it (as with all celestial objects), the few facts are interesting enough to know and appreciate. So keep your mind open when exploring space, and when considering other planetary systems!