Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate today to support the journalism you rely on!

Solar System Shrinks with Pluto's Demotion

Leading astronomers declare that Pluto is no longer a planet, shrinking the solar system from nine planets to eight.

Pluto was discovered in 1930. It lost its planetary status when the International Astronomical Union approved a definition for planets that Pluto fails to meet.

Pluto will now belong to a new category of "dwarf planets," similar to what long have been termed "minor planets."

Earlier this year NASA launched the New Horizons spacecraft on a 9 1/2 year journey to Pluto. The probe will allow scientists to better understand the distant body.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Related Content

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.