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Pluto Is Back!

Come on scientists! Give us a break!

First you eliminate dear Pluto from our solar system and now you bring it back into the Solar System. If I were Pluto, I would be pretty miffed about this whole thing. Whatever had happened to My Very Excited Mother Just Served Nine Pizzas, was not good. But, nonetheless, she is back to serve us pizzas after 13 long years. It is yet again classified as a planet because of its geology, atmospheres, seasons, moons, cores which make it similar to all the other planets in the solar system.

Pluto was discovered and classified as a planet in 1930. Let us find out a bit more about this planet which has been garnering such interest over its existence. Before being demoted to a mere "dwarf planet" from a "Planet", Pluto enjoyed its classification as a privileged planet in our Solar System. But all was not well for the hero of our story. The International Astronomical Union intervened Pluto's happy existence (in the Solar System as well as our text books) by terming it as a non-planet as it had several other similar sized planets around it. Also at times Pluto's orbit overlapped Neptune's orbit.

Ever wondered if this controversial planet was named after Disney's favorite dog- Pluto? Well, then you are misinformed. The name was given in 1930 by a 11 year old girl who thought that it would be good to name it after the underworld ruling Roman God- Pluto, since the planet itself was so far away and dark. The girl was later rewarded with five pounds.

In comparison to earth which takes 1 year to complete its orbit around the sun, Pluto being the farthest planet from the sun, takes 248 Earth years to complete one orbit. The rising and setting of the sun happens once a week compared to once a day on earth. So if you manage to live 60 years on Pluto, you would have lived 14,880 years on earth. That's living a life of eternity!

The one thing we are yet to do is send a spacecraft to Pluto. This will be completed soon as well; with NASA having launched its first mission to Pluto called 'New Horizons' in 2006. The spacecraft is destined to reach Pluto by July 2015. So let's say we can expect a little more controversy around our favorite planet again next year. Amidst the identity crisis Pluto is currently facing, I'm sure it would not complain the little attention coming its way.


Source by Priya Ravinder

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