The Return of Pluto

For years, rumor of the existence of a “ninth planet” has orbited around the Astronomical centers of the world. Scientists have gone back and forth debating whether or not this hearsay was true until February 2021, when astronomers found compelling evidence to indicate its existence. Many believe this newly discovered mass is a foreign exchange planet from another galaxy, while others are convinced that it is young Pluto all grown up and back to reclaim his title. 

Pluto’s Former Friend, Saturn, Ignoring the Recently Demoted Planet | Photo Courtesy of Roxy Hudson

In 1930, Pluto was discovered at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona. From birth, Pluto was idolized by young asteroids and dwarf planets who saw themselves in the small, colorful planet. The influential space mass remained a role model to these young hopefuls until August 2006, when the truth about his planetary qualifications came to light and Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet. Pluto’s downfall came after astronomers discovered that although he orbits around the Sun and is large enough to assume hydrostatic equilibrium as other planets do, he is gravitationally dominant. This flaw indicates that, other than his own satellites, there are no other bodies of comparable size in his vicinity, and therefore, Pluto cannot be considered a planet. 

For Pluto, this demotion was not just the loss of a title, but the crumbling of his life in the Milky Way. Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury, all planets that Pluto once considered friends, no longer sent birthday asteroids or stopped to say hello while orbiting past one another. Fans stopped looking up to him, and astronomers took fewer photos of the once miraculous planet. This traumatic experience threw Pluto into a state of depression; his surface was cold and lonely. Luckily, a few years after the incident, neighbors were finally able to convince the sad dwarf planet to speak to a therapist.  While in orbit, Pluto received some advice from a nearby red giant who used to be a star, literally.

Pluto Size Comparison | Photo Courtesy of Business Insider

“Speaking to that red giant was the best thing I could have done. I told it about how I was constantly feeling down and it wasn’t just the force of gravity, but a pain inside of me,” Pluto said in an interview with a NASA rover. “In short, the red giant told me about its post-stardom journey and how, just like it,  I needed to pick my head up and figure out what my dreams were. My main goal was to regain my reputation. The red giant told me that the only way to do that was to shoot for the stars.”

After working through his problems, Pluto was back on track and ready to start a new life.  But first, he needed to make a few changes. Shortly after assessing his dreams and goals, Pluto and a few friends rented an orbit out by the Kuiper Belt in the trans-Neptunian region. Known as the “Hollywood of the Milky Way,” Pluto expected to reclaim fame in this area as many other planets did lightyears before.

After moving to the “fame capital of the Milky Way,” Pluto decided to work on himself. His whole life, Pluto was seen as the “little guy.” All the big names were much larger: Earth was five times the size of little Pluto and Jupiter was 66 times bigger than the dwarf planet. With this in mind, Pluto hit the gym  where he used space debris for weight lifting, the force of gravity for resistance training, and his strong orbit for spin classes. Just a few light years later, Pluto was a large space mass, almost ten times the size of Earth, unrecognizable by those who once knew him. 

Pluto and his BFF Neptune | Photo Courtesy of Roxy Hudson

After taking the time to improve his mental and physical health, Pluto reconnected with an old friend from his planetary days: Neptune. The two space bodies, with a close proximity and even closer relationship, had always supported one another. The dwarf planet took Neptune’s side while heated discussions about which planet was the coldest took place, and Neptune supported Pluto while fighting for his planetary title. 

“It’s all political,” Neptune said. “Although Earth is on the left side of the solar system, she totally leans right. Earthlings are so obviously conservative, as evident in the mass amount of pollution [what the planets call “planetary smoking”] and their vote to recall Planet Pluto just for being a foreigner. Pluto has worked hard for his position and he shouldn’t be deprived of it because one planet is scared of a little competition.”

After working hard to earn back his planetary status, Pluto finally received his big break in 2012. The young dwarf planet was once again noticed by scientists living on one of Pluto’s previous companions but current rival, Earth. Astronomers observed perturbations in the orbits of dwarf planets just beyond Neptune’s orbit which can occur when an official planet is present. 

Pluto was overjoyed by this acknowledgement, but was worried that he would be less successful if Earth inhabitants as well as space masses discovered that the previously demoted planet received a second chance at stardom before many Milky Way bodies got their first. To avoid another traumatic experience and maintain others’ support, Pluto took some advice from his agent, the Sun.

Milky Way Planets Lining Up to Meet With Their Space Manager: The Sun | Photo Courtesy of Freepik

 “I’ve been in the space entertainment business for a long time and I’ve seen a lot of mistakes that could have easily been avoided. You ever heard of Planet Bellona? No? Neither has half the galaxy because as a young mass she lost her planetary status and could never gain it back because other space bodies refused to give her a second title before they got their first. I don’t want this to happen to innocent little Pluto, so I convinced him to change his name by the law of planetary identification to the simple and mysterious “Planet X,” the Sun said in an interview with Roscosmos, the Russian space corporation.

Since the 2012 discovery, debates about the existence of a ninth planet have skyrocketed. Many are still hesitant about whether or not a dwarf planet could transform itself into such a remarkable space mass as Pluto did, while numerous others know the truth about Planet X and are determined to prove it. In the last few years, even more evidence has come out implying that a ninth planet exists in the Milky Way. Although “Pluto in disguise” has had many chances to prove his transformation to the solar system, the soon-to-be-planet-again has realized that staying a mystery has brought him even more fame than he ever imagined. Astronomers across the land of Earth as well as aliens and asteroids roaming around the Milky Way are constantly trying to uncover the truth about young Pluto and the renowned Planet X.

Written by Roxy Hudson

Roxy Hudson is Co-Editor-in-Chief for the MCSun, and is going on her third full year of writing with the Sun Staff. She is a Senior runner for the Varsity Cross Country and Track Team and a member of MC's Varsity Soccer Team. When she is not spending her time running in circles on the track, Roxy is usually chilling on the couch with her two adorable chocolate labs or whipping up a tasty dish in the kitchen.

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