An off-the-cuff remark from the administrator of NASA has reignited the debate over whether or not Pluto is a planet. While speaking to reporters at an event in Colorado last Friday, Jim Bridenstine, who heads the space agency, remarked: "just so you know, in my view, Pluto is a planet." The statement reportedly drew laughs from those in attendance and he continued "you can write that the NASA administrator declared Pluto a planet once again. I'm sticking by that. It's the way I learned it and I'm committed to it."
Ironically, Bridenstine's comments came on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the controversial 2006 vote by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) which stripped Pluto of its planetary status after decades of debate among astronomers. The decree, which classified the celestial body as a dwarf planet instead, was met with considerable consternation from the general public as well as scientists who disagreed with the decision. To this day, numerous astronomers have refused to change their stance that Pluto is a planet despite what the proverbial textbooks now say.
More on this odd story at the Coast to Coast AM website.