Pluto Downsized, Solar System Only has Eight Planets

After getting a reprieve that refined “planets” such that the Solar system went from nine to twelve planets, astronomers have had a change of heart and come up with a new definition that excludes Pluto.

Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight. After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930.

The new definition of what is — and isn’t — a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.

I understand a recount petitition has been filed, with several astronomers claiming the voting method was too complicated.

FILED UNDER: Science & Technology,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    Maybe next, the geographers can vote that Iraq is no longer a country, in which case there obviously can’t be any “civil war.” Mission Accomplished!

  2. But won’t removing one of the planets just mean there is less gravitational pull away from the sun, so we will be pulled closer to the sun, increasing global warming.

    How dare the astronomers endanger our planet. First Bush increases the hurricanes and now we are doomed to go hurling into the sun because of a bunch of nerds looking through telescopes.

  3. Len says:

    Letterman reported last night that even though Pluto has lost in the primary, it now plans to run in the general as an Independent.

  4. James Joyner says:

    Good line!

  5. G A Phillips says:

    Gee Herb it looks like ken don’t really come from a different planet after all, go figure?

  6. floyd says:

    sounds goofy, what will mickey say??!!BTW, if the sun could talk wouldn’t it sound like mickey? what with all that helium….??[grinz]