Reinstate Pluto's Status as a Planet sign now

On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) approved a resolution declaring that Pluto is no longer recognized by the astronomical community as a planet. (The text of the resolution is available at http://www.iau2006.org/mirror/www.iau.org/iau0603/index.html)

From now on, according to the IAU, Pluto will be categorized as a dwarf planet. This classification will be shared with perhaps hundreds of other objects, including at least one asteroid. In other words, Pluto has gone from being recognized as the ninth planet in the solar system to instead being just another rather large and distant rock.

Pluto was originally discovered by a 24-year-old astronomer named Clyde Tombaugh on February 18, 1930 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA. His discovery was the culmination of a decades-long search begun in 1905 by Percival Lowell for a mysterious Planet X which was theorized to exist outside the orbit of Neptune.

Mr. Tombaugh died in 1997, leaving behind a wife, two children, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

It is reasonable to assume that Mr. Tombaugh went to his grave secure in the knowledge that among his other significant contributions to science he had discovered the ninth planet in the Solar System. During his long career, Mr. Tombaugh, an important American astronomer, discovered many distant celestial objects, including two comets and several star clusters. As his sister Esther Spreen said shortly after his death, This may be a loss as far as his physical being is concerned but his achievements will never be lost to us. (http://www.klx.com/clyde/lawson.html) One can't help but think that Mr. Tombaugh's family regard his discovery of Pluto as one of his proudest achievements.

For 76 years, literally generations of schoolchildren have memorized his discovery as the furthest planet from the sun, and have learned a great deal about astronomy and physics as they've studied its eccentric orbit.

To designate Pluto as being something other than a planet at this late date is to do a tremendous disservice to Mr. Tombaugh's memory. It is a petty act which is the result of a scientific argument over nomenclature that even most schoolchildren would recognize as juvenile. Further, it is an act by a relatively small group of 2,500 scientists who are representative of only the tiniest fraction of the public at large.

After nearly eight decades of tradition in recognizing that the Solar System consists of nine planets, reclassifying Pluto as a dwarf planet or trans-Neptunian object is decidedly unsatisfactory decision which should be reversed immediately. This decision is an affront to millions of members of the public who regard Mr. Tombaugh's discovery as one which revealed a significant truth about our planetary neighborhood.

We, the undersigned, call upon the IAU to renounce this decision and immediately and permanently reclassify Pluto as the ninth planet in the Solar System.

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Latest Signatures

  • 19 December 2015450. Dj M
    I support this petition
  • 07 December 2015449. Andrey A
    I support this petition
  • 29 November 2015448. Pam S
    keep it! City; State or Province providence, ri Country usa
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  • 02 November 2015446. Teodora Washington
    I support this petition
  • 02 November 2015445. Mr S
    Keep pluto as a planet! City; State or Province Ontario Country Canada
  • 30 October 2015444. Irina Jefferson
    I support this petition
  • 18 October 2015443. Belodurov G
    I support this petition
  • 07 October 2015442. Ellie K
    I love pluto i think that it should be a planet because it is amazing and WE LOVE IT i sometimes get down and cry and sob about pluto City; State or Province Melbourne Country Australia
  • 03 October 2015441. Sofia K
    I support this petition
  • 26 September 2015440. Paul C
    I support this petition
  • 24 September 2015439. Warren S
    I support this petition
  • 22 September 2015438. Grant Mora
    I was thinking about reclassifying The Earth. After all it doesn't really fit in with the other 7(8) planets in our Solar system... City; State or Province Nykцping Country Sweden
  • 22 September 2015437. Patrick J
    I support this petition
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  • 05 September 2015435. Matthew Dalton
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  • 28 August 2015433. Lee Erickson
    Ihr Schweine habt Pluto getoetet!
  • 26 August 2015432. Dmitry V
    В City; State or Province В Country Belarus
  • 21 August 2015431. Hans E
    I support this petition
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    I support this petition
  • 12 August 2015429. Vicki C
    В City; State or Province Knoxville, TN Country USA
  • 11 August 2015428. Alexander S
    I support this petition
  • 05 August 2015427. Kris G
    Reinstate now! Country Switzerland
  • 05 August 2015426. Alexander Bofhlandi
    SA, network engineer City; State or Province Velikiy Novgorod Country Russian Federation
  • 03 July 2015425. Crap B
    i agree
  • 02 July 2015424. Ken H
    I support this petition

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Adrienne BergerBy:
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Petition target:
The International Astronomical Union

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