How was the planet Pluto destroyed

Pluto: A planet finds its true home

The smallest of the dwarf planets is Ceres, a celestial body between Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered in 1801 and was then considered the eighth planet, as no one knew anything about Pluto. As more and more small bodies were discovered in this region, the planet Ceres first became a small planet, then a minor planet, planetoid, asteroid. And finally, like Pluto, Ceres was placed in the class of dwarf planets. After all, Pluto is now the biggest in the category of dwarf planets - if you want to be the biggest, just change the category.

With all the new discoveries, it was necessary to redefine what planets and what small bodies such as asteroids make up. So it happened that nine planets became eight. Pluto fell through the grid.

Offended pride of discovery

This was particularly tragic for American astrophysicists, because Pluto was the only planet-like celestial body whose discovery they were responsible for. The state of Illinois continues to oppose the status of the dwarf planet to this day and continues to claim that Pluto is a planet. The discoverer of Pluto, Dr. Clyde Tombaugh, was from Illinois, after all. They even set up their own memorial day. But unfortunately they forget other successful astrophysicists from America. Geoff Marcy discovered the first 70 planets outside of our solar system, as did Paul Butler and Debra Fischer, Florian Freistetter reveals from

Actually, nothing speaks against calling Pluto as well as Ceres and others from the asteroid belt as an asteroid. Perhaps the introduction of the dwarf planet category was just a compromise out of consideration for American pride in discovery.

But that's how science works. Better observations lead to better knowledge of the universe and earlier ones must be corrected. If the discovery of Pluto had taken place with better telescopes, it might never have been categorized as a planet - no matter what demonstration posters are displayed in Illinois.

But names are smoke and mirrors. No (heaven) body is perfect. Pluto remains a fascinating celestial body. For example, it is much more subject to the seasons than the earth. Maybe it is better that way for Pluto. Where it is now classified as one of several asteroids in the Kuiper Belt, it may be its true home. And to have found your true home is perhaps worth more than names like planet, dwarf planet or asteroid.

Short and sweet

• In 1930, Pluto was discovered and given planetary status.

• In 2006 the category of dwarf planets was introduced to distinguish planets from other discoveries. Pluto was placed in this category.

• The dwarf planet category was probably a compromise solution in order to keep a perceived devaluation to an asteroid within limits.

• New data require corrective conclusions. This is not a (dis) valuation, but a better description of reality.

• Pluto remains a fascinating celestial body.


• Pluto is on average around 5.9 billion kilometers away from the sun. It is located in our solar system behind Neptune.

• Pluto needs 248 earth years to orbit the sun.

• Pluto is tiny, even smaller than our moon.

• It is around -240 degrees Celsius on its surface.

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