The last time I updated my general knowledge about Pluto was in 2006, when it was demoted as a planet and classified as a dwarf planet.

But NASA's recent statement shows that the debate about it being a planet or not is not going to end anytime soon.


A tweet shared by meteorologist Cory Reppenhagen shows the NASA chief, Jim Bridenstine speaking at the FIRST Robotics Event in Oklahoma.

In his speech, he said that he doesn't agree with the convention that Pluto is not a planet.

These were his words:

"Just so you know, in my view Pluto is a planet. You can write that the NASA administrator declared Pluto a planet once again. I’m sticking by that, it’s the way I learned it and I’m committed to it."
Source: Wired

When Pluto was excluded from the category of planets, the International Astronomical Union had defined certain guidelines that had to be adhered to for any celestial body to be categorised as a planet.

Source: IAU

As expected, Twitter is now confused.

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Well, not that I have any authority... but, for what it’s worth, I strongly agree. Pluto was discovered and named as a planet a while before I was born. At that time it was generally instinctively understood that a Planet was one of a family of roughly spherical objects that orbited the Sun (rather than orbiting something else). So, to me, Pluto is a classical PLANET. End of story. We can easily choose to make Pluto the outer edge of the classical planet zone, in which case we’ll end up with 9 planets and an ever-increasing number of Kuiper Belt Objects great and small, as they are discovered. Anybody like my definition ? It would have saved a lot of trouble 10 years ago !! Incidentally, the origins of the word planet are no help at all. The word simply means “wandering star” from the Greek, as I understand it, although Greek is not my strong point ! 💥💥💥💥 Let’s hear it for PLUTO - the 9th Planet !! If you agree, let me know - and I will show Alan Stern - the genius who revealed the magnificent appearance of Pluto at close quarters - through the NASA New Horizons Mission. I was proud to be a very small part of that triumph. Alan’s team use a nine-fingered salute (to which I subscribe) so there is little doubt what side they are on !!! Bri

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There's nothing we can do about it, but wait for an official announcement on the same.