- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Eleven years after it was demoted in the eyes of the world, a group of NASA scientists hope to make Pluto great again.

Astronomers from the U.S. space agency hope to upgrade the heavenly body from the “dwarf planet” status it was relegated to in 2006 by essentially re-writing the rules for what, exactly, characterizes a planet, USA Today reported Tuesday.

“In the mind of the public, the word ‘planet’ carries a significance lacking in other words used to describe planetary bodies,” the NASA scientists argue in a proposal submitted to the International Astronomical Union. “In the decade following the supposed ‘demotion’ of Pluto by the International Astronomical Union, many members of the public, in our experience, assume that alleged ‘non-planets’ cease to be interesting enough to warrant scientific exploration.”

“A planet is a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion and that has sufficient self-gravitation to assume a spheroidal shape adequately described by a triaxial ellipsoid regardless of its orbital parameters,” the proposal reads, according to USA Today.

To translate to English: the new definition basically requires planets to be round, have a significant gravitational field that holds itself together and not be a star. 

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