- Do you know anything about Pluto?
- Is it a planet? Why?
Not everyone agrees that this is a good way to decide, though. Andy Cheng, a planetary scientist at Johns Hopkins University, says that the new rules aren't clear enough and asks the question "how round is round? ...I'll still continue to maintain that Pluto is a planet," he said.
Owen Gingerich is an astronomer and historian at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and head of the IAU committee proposing the definition. He favored a special distinction for Pluto. Gingerich supported a proposal to call the big eight planets classical planets—as opposed to just plain "planets"—and Pluto and the others dwarf planets, so there would be two classes of planets. He believes that reclassifying Pluto as a
dwarf planet is not "sensitive to the historical and cultural role that Pluto has played."
The argument continues. In the meantime, however, many people are correct—new textbooks will list Pluto as being a dwarf planet. What do you think it is?