One of the biggest “In my day…” moments of my life was Pluto’s demotion from being a full-on planet in our solar system to a dwarf planet, or plutoid. It was even given a new, incredibly demeaning name: “asteroid number 134340.” I was brought up to believe that Pluto was an integral member of the Legion of Planets (that’s definitely what they’re called), and all of that came crashing down in 2006. What am I supposed to do with “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” now?
But I never gave up on Pluto, and I have always maintained that I will throw down and fight the people who reclassified it as a dwarf planet if I were to ever meet them.
Something tells me NASA Administrator Charles Bolden feels the same way, and figuring that he likely knows those reclassifying monsters personally, he’s probably gotten in plenty of fistfights over the past nine years. I like to think that he’s thrown a great deal of fear into the International Astronomical Union, hunting down everyone who helped to reclassify Pluto like the vigilante we need.
Just look at how Bolden described the momentous occasion of this week’s New Horizons flyby (via The Telegraph):
“It’s a big day for NASA,” said Mr Bolden. “The U.S. today has become the first nation to visit every planet. We’re calling Pluto a planet, technically it’s a dwarf planet. I call it a planet, but I’m not the rule maker.“
Bolden’s not the rule maker, but that’s an issued threat if I’ve ever heard one. Did you hear that, you soulless cretins over at the International Astronomical Union? We don’t care how many times you try to degrade Pluto; we’ll spit right in your face and call it a planet anyway. You can’t just play God with the classification of planets and think your actions will go unchecked. We’re watching you, and we’re not going to take it.
As Pluto enjoys its time as the center of the science community, thanks to the mountains of information we’re already receiving from the flyby, there has also been a surge of support for Pluto to once again be a valued member of the Legion of Planets (again, this is the official name). This is due in large part to the discovery that Pluto is actually larger than Eris, which is the largest dwarf planet in the solar system. Because of New Horizons, we now know that Pluto is 20-30 kilometers larger than we previously thought, making it larger than the largest dwarf planet. Making Pluto a goddamn PLANET.