If you are like us, your childhood was surrounded by a solar system with nine planets. You also grew-up in a world that didn‚Äôt teach math new concepts, but that‚Äôs another story. One day, they decided that Pluto was not a planet. Our most distant friend in this solar system was then told he was no longer good enough to join the planet club and would forever remain a ‘dwarf world’. It was a consolation prize to those who weren’t cool enough to join the big planets club. Pluto Day is a celebration of the discovery and designation of Pluto as a planet in 1930.
The story of Pluto’s discovery actually begins in 1840’s when Urbain Leverrier discovered that there was another planet beyond Uranus. However, that planet was not Pluto. It was Neptune. The same methods that led to the discovery of Neptune also led to another. Uranus was showing oddities in its orbit due to Neptune, its closest, but undiscovered, neighbour. They were able observe Neptune and realized that Uranus was being affected by another planet. This explanation wasn’t possible if Neptune is not involved.
Percival Lowell led the search for Planet X. Unfortunately, Powell would die before Pluto was discovered. Two faint smudges that appeared during their deep sky surveys in search of ‘Planet X‚Äô would later be identified as Pluto.
Clyde Tombaugh was the one who discovered Pluto in 1930. We believe Pluto should be kept a planet after so many years of searching.
To celebrate Pluto Day, it is important to know as much as possible about the planet (yes, we said PLANET). It has a fascinating history and contains familiar substances. Yes, it is. Venetia Burney (11 year old) named Pluto after her fascination with classical mythology.