Trivia

Hard

When Pluto Lost Its Designation As A Planet It Also Lost Its What?

Smithsonian Display
Name
Planned Probe Mission
Moons

Answer: Name

In 2006, the celestial object previously known as the ninth planet in our solar system, Pluto, was officially demoted. Although the announcement by the International Astronomical Union left a lot of people scratching their heads and more than a few declaring, “It was a planet when I learned the solar system as a lad and it’s going to stay a planet!” the IAU actually had a rather compelling case. At the time the object was discovered in 1930, it looked unique and planet like. After nearly a century of astronomical study since, however, it’s clear that the object we called Pluto is but one of many numerous icy objects orbiting the Sun at similar distances (including another that is bigger than Pluto).

Part of the demotion process from planet to dwarf planet, while strictly a matter of bookkeeping and consistency in records, has a bitter twinge to it you’d expect to find in a tragic story: Pluto was stripped of its name and given a number like all the other asteroids, icy bodies, dwarf planets, and other chunks of non-planetary objects rocketing around the solar system. Pluto was reclassified and renamed with the designation 134340 along with all of its moons, also stripped of their names and reclassified as 134340 (I-V).

Despite the demotion and the stripping of title, Pluto lives on: members of the very class of planet it belongs to, that of the trans-neptunian dwarf planet, are referred to as Plutoids.

Trivia

Very Hard

Physical Features And Structures Shared Between Distantly Related Animals Are Examples Of?

Trivia

Hard

To Protect Their Unique Makeup Styles, Professional Clowns Cleverly Copyrighted Which Of These?

Trivia

Hard

Where Did The “Music” Astronauts Heard On The Dark Side Of The Moon Come From?

Trivia

Easy

Abundant Rose Bushes in Grape Vineyards Serve What Purpose?

Trivia

Hard

Calves Are Fed What Non-Nutritive Substance To Protect Them From Later Disease?

Trivia

Hard

The Chills You Get When Listening To Music Are Known As?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Popular 1980s Computer Game Blatantly Ripped Off Super Mario Bros?

Trivia

Hard

Which Fictitious Drug Is Used By Researchers To Assess Participant Honesty?

Trivia

Easy

Which U.S. State Has The Lowest Statewide Speed Limit?

Trivia

Hard

The “Wishbone” Found In Holiday Turkeys Is The Birds’?