Paul Feig and Planetary Scientists Launch Campaign to Reinstate Pluto as a Planet

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - 3:21PM
Astronomy
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 - 3:21PM
Paul Feig and Planetary Scientists Launch Campaign to Reinstate Pluto as a Planet

Even when it was officially a planet, Pluto was always the underdog, as it was the smallest and furthest away of the nine planets in our solar system. As a result, many had a strange, irrational attachment to it (myself included), and were sorely disappointed when its planet status was revoked. Now, Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, as well as the cast of his Yahoo series Other Space and planetary experts Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Phil Metzger, are launching an official Change.org petition to reinstate Pluto as our ninth planet. 

Here is the press release:

Opening quote
Today on July 14th, for the first time in human history, the New Horizons probe deployed by NASA is capturing the most detailed, topographical images of Pluto to date. To celebrate the #PlutoFlyBy and support the mission to reinstate it as an official planet, writer-director Paul Feig and the cast of his scripted comedy series "Other Space" on Yahoo have launched a Change.org petition titled "I am Pro Pluto" here: change.org/plutoisaplanet. With the first signature penned by Feig, the Yahoo series has partnered with renowned planetary experts and leads of the New Horizons Mission, Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Phil Metzger, who are dedicated to giving back Pluto its rightful title in the Solar System. The "Other Space" cast including Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu, the men behind "Mystery Science Theater," are also sponsoring the petition. 

"Underdog of our solar system, Pluto has been a punchline for too long," said Paul Feig. "I support this noble and long overdue effort to give it back its rightful planetary status." 

Dr. Stern summed up his thoughts on Pluto's place in space saying, "Take a look. If you saw it on the Star Trek Enterprise viewfinder, what would you call it?"
Closing quote


Stern, who is the New Horizons principal investigator, claims that most planetary scientists believe Pluto should never have been kicked out of the cool kids table, and that he hopes the data from today's historic flyby will bring Pluto back to prominence and prove that it has been a planet all along. According to Stern, the criteria for calling a celestial body a "planet" are arbitrary and were composed by a small group of people who were not experts in the field. So while Pluto doesn't technically fit the qualifications of a planet, it has all of the qualities necessary for planetary scientists to unofficially consider it a planet.

"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it's probably a duck," said Stern. "If you go to planetary science meetings and hear technical talks on Pluto, you will hear experts calling it a planet every day."

We have a soft spot for Pluto, so we're hoping against hope that this campaign will be successful. We honestly have no idea how Feig got involved, but we're glad that the New Horizons mission is helping Pluto re-enter the public consciousness and inspire further interest in space exploration.

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Space
Astronomy

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