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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Someone broke the news to Sadie that Pluto was no longer a planet...apparently she didn't know!

"...because nerds like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff... Nerds are allowed to love stuff, like jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can't-control-yourself love it...when people call people nerds, mostly what they're saying is 'you like stuff.' Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, 'you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness'." - John Green

Warning! You are about to experience a "nerd out." A jump-up-and-down-in-the-chair-can't-control-yourself moment.

Once upon a time there was an Astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh who noticed that the orbits of Neptune and Uranus were being affected by the gravity of an unknown object in the Solar System.

Exciting, right?!

So, Clyde Tombaugh studied the night sky and after a lot of hard work and patience, he discovered PLUTO!

Some fun facts about Pluto:

1. It was known as the smallest planet in the Solar System and the 9th planet from the Sun
2. Pluto is only half as wide as the United States
3. It is smaller than Earth's moon
4. It takes 248 Earth years to go around the Sun
5. If you lived on Pluto, you would have to wait 248 Earth years to celebrate your 1st birthday
6. One day on Pluto is about 6 1/2 days on Earth
7. Pluto is very, very cold! Much colder than Antarctica!

However, as you all might know, Pluto is no longer considered a planet. Today, Pluto is considered a "dwarf planet." A dwarf planet orbits the Sun just like other planets, but smaller, so small that it cannot clear objects out of its path.

Today, August 24, marks the 10th anniversary of Pluto's demotion. It was on this day in 2006 that a group of astronomers - members of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) - met up in Prague to discuss Pluto.

In their voting of the new rules for defining planets, it was concluded that Pluto, after 76 years of being considered a planet, didn't make the cut.

So what is the actual definition (according to the IAU) of a 'planet' then?

Here are the three things that qualify a planet:
- is in orbit around the sun,
- has sufficient mass that its gravity pulls it into an almost round shape, and
- has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit

So where does Pluto fall short?
The last point. Pluto's orbit overlaps with Neptune's, which means no clear neighborhood for Pluto...

So today we remember the little guy!

Pluto! Never forget!

We hope everyone enjoys these fun facts! They were found on:

Check out more pictures from today by clicking on the link below!

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