Jul 17, 2012
Caltech planetary astronomy professor Mike Brown, commonly credited with demoting Pluto's planetary status, said the discovery of the fifth moon (P5) is merely an interesting anomaly.
"All the people clamoring about whether it means Pluto might be a planet are essentially saying, 'See? Pluto is interesting and complex thus shouldn't it be a planet?'" said Brown. "And the answer is, 'No, the solar system is full of interesting and complex things that are not planets.'"
Evidently, as icy Pluto crosses the orbit of Neptune, it cannot clear its own orbit and is therefore deemed a minor body; a dwarf; a mere planette.
With the continuing discoveries of moons orbiting Pluto, there are now calls to overturn the official ruling of the International Astronomical Union. Though Pluto is billions of miles away, it is close to the hearts of many astronomers.
With the discovery of P5, and the high probability of more Plutonian satellites being found, scientists speculate that Pluto is revealing its own violent past involving an explosive collision with a large object.
The International Astronomical Union rules the naming of celestial bodies, and its guidelines mandate that all objects in Pluto's domain receive mythological names associated with the underworld.
Pluto (Hades) was the god of the underworld in Roman mythology, and the mysterious (non)planet is the astrological ruler of Scorpio known as the "planet of deconstruction."
What should Pluto's 5th moon, P5, ultimately be named?
The following Hercules song, "Pluto," should put listeners in enough of a trance to imagine a name for Pluto's fifth moon.
P L U T O