Episode 17 - Pluto The Un-Planet

Episode 17 - Pluto The Un-Planet


Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has always occupied a special place in our hearts as the ninth planet in the Solar System. But recent discoveries of new objects in the Sun's neighbourhood have called into question the definition of a planet. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union established new criteria to define planets and, sadly, Pluto no longer ranked with the big boys. Instead, it was reclassified a dwarf planet, which sparked heated debates and protests among those striving to restore Pluto's "planet-hood." CU Science Update's Eric Duggan speaks with CU astrophysicist Fran Bagenal about Pluto's status and of the objects that are best described as dwarf planets. Also, CU Science Update's Sara Handing takes us inside CU's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics where students and professors are developing new instruments to measure the Cosmos. The CU Student Dust Counter is the first student-built instrument ever to be accepted by NASA to fly on board a planetary mission. The instrument was taken on board the New Horizons space probe, which was launched in 2009. It's destination -- Pluto! Hosted by Jenna Browder

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