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

Easy

The Original Tron Movie Features A Tiny Easter Egg Homage To Which Video Game?

Trivia

Easy

Having Your Appendix Removed Is A Prerequisite For Working Where?

Trivia

Hard

The Oldest Genetic Proof Of Malaria Was Found In A?

Trivia

Hard

What Star Trek Continuity Error Was Left Unexplained For 26 Years?

Trivia

Hard

The Largest Working Musical Instrument In The World Is Located In?

Trivia

Hard

Which City Has The Largest Taxi Cab Fleet In The World?

Trivia

Hard

Which Food Has Never Been An Official McDonald’s Mascot?

Trivia

Easy

Mycotoxins Are Toxins Produced By?

Trivia

Hard

Similar To The Y2K Bug, There’s A Looming Date Bug Triggered By The Year?

Trivia

Very Hard

Stars That Cannibalize Other Stars Are Known As?