It’s almost impossible to not like Journey’s song “Don’t Stop Believing.” It’s a heartwarming tale of inspiration full of dulcet tones and sweet melodies. Not only, it’s catchy! I mean, once you hear it, the song is in your head.
So who’s the jerk that’s been playing it to Pluto?
The former planet, now listed as a dwarf, has made some powerful allies who believe their discoveries will convince astronomers to bring Pluto back into the planetary fold. Mark Sykes of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, suggests that Pluto’s demotion stems from a misconception that full-fledged planets are somehow unusual:
“We are in the midst of a conceptual revolution,” he says. “We are shaking off the last vestiges of the mythological view of planets as special objects in the sky – and the idea that there has to be a small number of them because they’re special.”
Not only that, but:
Sykes believes that missions currently en route to Pluto and the asteroid Ceres, which orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter, will reveal these dwarf planets as active and intricate worlds. Meanwhile, astronomers may find distant objects as large as Earth which the IAU would not define as planets.
So what does this mean? Well, many astronomers are now coming toward the theory that that any planet large enough to be pulled into a sphere by its own gravity should be considered a planet. Of course, by this definition, not only would Pluto be a planet, so would Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris, all currently considered dwarfs.
Way to go, guys. Everyone knows that once you let Makemake and Eris into the neighborhood, the property values plummet like there’s no tomorrow.