I grew up understanding that Pluto was our solar system’s ninth planet.
By the time I got to college, students were being taught that there were only eight planets, and that Pluto is actually a “dwarf planet.”
In the near future, kids may be growing up learning that there are, once again, nine planets.
Scientists believe they have discovered compelling evidence of a celestial object that may fit the criteria of a planet. It’s estimated to be 20 billion miles away from the sun at its closest point in orbit, and 100 billion miles away at its furthest. By contrast, Pluto is 4.6 billion miles away. The potential new planet would take between 10,000 to 20,000 years to orbit the sun.
Now I understand that our solar system and galaxy — let alone the entire universe — is pretty frickin’ big, but I feel like the number of planets is something that should stay constant.
A lot of things do change in life; our jobs, our relationships, our physical appearances, etc. It would be nice if I could go my entire life comfortably knowing exactly how many planets there are.
Science is forever changing. I know that. This is more of a selfish request than anything. But if there are any universal truths in the world, planets should be one of them.
It would be like being told how may presidents there were, and then one day, the history community says, “You know what? That James Garfield guy, yeah, he doesn’t count anymore. Just gonna cross him off the list.”
And just like that, he’s gone.
Or if some type of international fairy tale association added an eighth dwarf to Snow White’s clan. (If so, allow me to recommend the name “Trumpy,” the egotistical, maniacal, narrow-minded dwarf with orange hair who is hated by all. Kids have to know.)
Why don’t the people get to have a say before these experts decide to rewrite our entire childhood education? Where was the public input session prior to Pluto’s abolishing?
It would have given me the opportunity to write an emotionally driven, impassioned speech about why I would like to see Pluto stay. It would have involved absolutely no scientific reasoning, but rather, it would have been a sympathetic plea that tugged at the heartstrings.
On that same level, I’d like to know more about this mysterious ninth planet before it’s put on the same plane as Earth, Mars and Neptune. Because I don’t trust it. It’s lurking in the shadows, it’s gone billions of years without being discovered, and it’s not a planet that Matt Damon would easily be able to survive in if he got stranded there.
You know what? That should be the new criteria. Send Matt Damon there, and if he finds his way home, then it’s a planet.
What to name the program?
The Bourne Interplanetary.