Tech - News
Is Pluto A Planet? Here's What Neil deGrasse Tyson Believes
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided that a large celestial object is a planet only if its gravitational orbit around the sun makes it round and if it’s big enough to fight off nearby planetary objects or debris. Not fulfilling the second criteria, Pluto went from being the ninth planet in our solar system to one of five dwarf planets, with the IAU stating that Pluto is "an important proto-type of a new class of trans-Neptunian objects."
In 2009, Neil deGrasse Tyson stated that other celestial bodies of ice discovered in the outer solar system acted similarly to Pluto, as they crossed orbits with other planets, which is not very planetary behavior. He noted that Pluto's demotion shouldn't be looked at negatively, but it should be considered the first object discovered in an area of the outer solar system known as the Kuiper belt.
During a brief appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" in 2017, Tyson said the Earth's moon has five times the mass of Pluto, and yet it's a "moon," not a planet. As per Tyson, Pluto, which is about two-thirds the moon's diameter, is still not a planet and should "stay in its lane," sticking to his perspective despite continued controversy.