Pluto Not a Planet, Astronomers Rule
The distant, ice-covered world is no longer a true planet, according to a new definition of the term voted on by scientists today.
"Whoa! Pluto's dead," said astronomer Mike Brown, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, as he watched a Webcast of the vote. "There are finally, officially, eight planets in the solar system."
In a move that's already generating controversy and will force textbooks to be rewritten, Pluto will now be dubbed a dwarf planet.
But it's no longer part of an exclusive club, since there are more than 40 of these dwarfs, including the large asteroid Ceres and 2003 UB313, nicknamed Xena—a distant object slightly larger than Pluto discovered by Brown last year.
"We know of 44" dwarf planets so