Ten years ago today, Pluto was officially reclassified, recognizing that it was less like our solar system’s eight planets than it was like the many, many small bodies populating the region beyond Neptune.
To put that in context, this year’s high-school freshman class has never been taught in school that Pluto was a planet.
If you’ve ever discussed Pluto on an iPhone, it wasn’t a planet when you did.
It’s exciting to think about how much our understanding of our solar system has increased in the last decade. And as a Huntsvillian, I’m proud of my city’s role in the story — “Pluto Killer” Mike Brown is a graduate of Huntsville’s Grissom High School, and Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center managed the program that sent the New Horizons mission to explore Pluto. We had a connection to both correcting a major misconception about Pluto, and to revealing the amazingly spectacular truth.