Now that it's official, and Pluto has been assigned a number as a dwarf planet, it's important to sort out exactly what happened, and why. And for all you Pluto lovers out there, please, hear me out before attempting to strangle someone with your outdated solar system model.
According to National Geographic, the former planet has been assigned the asteroid number 134340 as a dwarf planet. The International Astronomical Union has confirmed that the definition of a planet is as follows: A planet is an object that orbits the sun, forms itself into a sphere, and has enough gravitational pull to clear its path of space debris. That's why Pluto was ousted, because although it somewhat resembles a planet, it does not clear much debris on its rather undefined orbit.
When it was nearly official that Pluto would be downgraded, there was an uproar about changing Pluto's status, simply because so many children have been taught that it's a planet. I hate to tell you, but this is what science is all about: It's a changing landscape, as we continue to learn more and more every day.
If you think this is bad, I'm glad you weren't around when it was decided that the world was no longer flat, or that the sun, in fact, does not revolve around the earth. I have a feeling that those items were much more difficult to get through to teachers, and children, then this small blip regarding Pluto.
Sure, a rudimentary change in our solar system at a whim's notice can leave an uneasy feeling in your stomach. But ultimately, wouldn't you prefer to have the right answer, instead of trying to figure out exception after exception? In the case of Pluto, more than 1,000 other bodies larger than Pluto have been found in its general vicinity. That would make for a bunch more planets to add, and frankly, I'm out of wire and styrofoam balls.