(un)Happy Pluto Demoted Day

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Poor Pluto.

Ten years ago on August 24th 2006 astronomers voted to demote Pluto from a full planet to a dwarf planet. Thus destroying everything I learned in elementary school and reducing the planet count from 9 to 8.  It was a sad day for poor pluto.

Pluto was first discovered February 18th, 1930 by Clyde W. Tombaugh at Lowell Observatory.

Once the planet was discovered there was a mad rush to name it. Over 1000 suggestions poured into Lowell Observatory which held the right to name the newly discovered planet.  Many names were considered including: Zeus, Percival, Minerva, Kronos, and Constance. As if Pluto didn’t have enough problems they almost named him Percival?!

It was an 11 year-old named Venetia Burney who suggested the name. She had a love of mythology and suggested Pluto, the god of the underworld. The suggestion was made to her grandfather, a librarian, who forwarded it to an astronomer friend who then sent it off to America.  It was officially named on May 25th 1930. (Pluto, Mickey Mouse’s dog, would take the same name a year later.)

Today’s maze salutes poor Pluto, you may just be a second rate dwarf planet to astronomers but you’ll always be a star to me. (which just goes to show you how little I know about astronomy.)

 

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