Now Let’s Restore Pluto to Planet Status!

Ok, there are bigger issues in the world, but for those of us who grew up with Pluto being the ninth planet (and those of us who cared), it was a tough pill to swallow when it was demoted to “dwarf planet” status, whatever that means.

If it looks like a planet, moves like a planet, and was doing just fine as a planet, then let’s call it a planet! And so far the New Horizons spacecraft seems to be returning images that look an awful lot like a planet!

I’ve been a big fan of Pluto and its discoverer, Clyde Tombaugh, since I was a starry-eyed kid with a little 2.5-inch reflecting telescope. When I read the book, The Search for Planet X, that’s what really got me started being a diehard Pluto lover. Pluto’s kind of the outcast of the Solar System, with an erratic orbit and all, so maybe I felt sorry for it or something.

Visiting Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona as an adult and seeing the actual machinery that Tombaugh used (a “blink comparator” through which he viewed thousands of photos) to discover the planet just added fuel to the Pluto fire for me. What an incredible organ the human eye is, to be able to pick out that tiny spot in one photo and notice that it had moved a little bit as Tombaugh “blinked” back and forth between photos.

That makes me appreciate God all the more, too – the one who created the eye and created human beings who could then turn around and create a machine that could work in tandem with the incredible celestial mechanics the Creator set in place and send their creation to His creation to discover more about what He has made in this universe.

It’s unfortunate that so many scientists and others have magnified man to god status, and depreciated God to “dwarf” status, while at the same time claiming that the universe humbles man into insignificance. There’s a bit of irony there that I think is lost on most people.

It’s also ironic that, as one commenter said after an article on the subject, we feel the need to explore the universe in order to “save” humanity from extinction. In other words, we need to find other places where we can go so we can ruin them and trash them like we’ve done with the Earth. We simply fail to see that the human heart is not going to be any different on the moon or Mars – or Pluto – than it is on Earth.

But, not to spoil the fun, congratulations to NASA and the team that accomplished this feat. Now, back to that “planet” issue…