Pluto was downgraded from the ninth planet to a dwarf planet 13 years ago – but a NASA expert refuses to expect the change.
Jim Bridenstine reignited the debate by stating Pluto should be a planet because it has an ocean under its surface, organic compounds on its surface and its own moons.
Just so you know, in my view, Pluto is a planet,’ he said.
‘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.’
Observations from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2015 revealed that Pluto was far more complex than expected, with a probable underground ocean, organic materials (the potential precursors of life) on the surface and a multilayer atmosphere, Bridenstine said at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington late last month.
“I’m here to tell you, as the NASA administrator, I believe Pluto is a planet,” Bridenstine said to applause from the audience as the conference opened to public attendance.
It came on the 13th anniversary of Pluto’s fall from grace and formal demotion to a ‘dwarf planet’.
Listen what he said: