Should Pluto Be Classed as a Planet?

1127 Words5 Pages
Should Pluto be Classed as a Planet? This essay will argue against Pluto being considered a main planet in our solar system, and will outline the reasons through the use of current scientific evidence which supports this stance. Pluto should not be considered a planet because of such issues as it’s mass and size, obscure orbital path around the sun and the fact that if discovered today, it would not be classed as such (Masters, 2004). Pluto was officially stripped of it’s planetary title in August of 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (Cain, 2008). It is still an evolving topic of study in science with spacecraft New Horizons set to reach Pluto in 2015 (Cain, 2008). Although many people still consider Pluto to be a planet, it is imperative that society dispel this myth, as if students are taught misconceptions it’s hard to correct this conception (Newstead and Murray n.d.). Pluto should not be thought as a main planet in our solar system because of the objects minute mass and size. When first discovered in 1930, Pluto was thought to be larger than both Mercury and Mars (Masters, 2004). Since 1978, Pluto has been revealed as smaller than both these inner planets, at only 2,400 km across (Cain, 2008). Pluto’s mass is also smaller than that of Mercury, with Pluto having 25% less mass than the smallest planet in the solar system (Masters, 2004). The discovery of the dwarf planet, Eris in 2005 further damaged Pluto’s planetary status. The largest object in the Kuiper belt, Eris formerly 2003 UB313, is not defined as a main planet in the solar system (Inman, 2006). It was found to be 2,600 km across, bigger than Pluto and having a mass 25% greater than Pluto (Cain, 2008). Being larger, having more mass and having the same ice/rock material mix which makes up Pluto, it is hard to consider Pluto a planet and Eris not. Figure 1: Pluto size comparison,

More about Should Pluto Be Classed as a Planet?

Open Document