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Prominent voices about Pluto

Thomas W. Kraupe
ImageThomas W. Kraupe (c) Wolfgang Köhler

Director Planetarium HamburgProf. Thomas W. Kraupe

"The current definition of the IAU is based on a snapshot of the planetary system that is neither useful nor scientifically advanced. We are committed to not putting an arbitrary bar on the research spirit of young people. Countless other planets beyond Pluto are waiting to be discovered and explored.”

Dr Alan Stern
ImageDr. Alan Stern (c) NASA Ames Research Center

NASA project manager "New Horizons"-missionDr. Alan Stern

"Yes, they are, because they bear all the hallmarks of planethood— a shape made round by gravity, and features like atmospheres, satellites, complex geology, and cores." (Alan Stern on the question if Pluto and the other dwarf planets are planets for him and why.)

Dr. René Heller
ImageDr. René Heller

Scientist at the Max-Planck-Institut for solar system researchDr. René Heller

Nature creates an almost continuous spectrum of worlds. Only people build linguistic drawers. In my view as a physicist, Pluto is as much a planet as Jupiter. Nature doesn't care about our drawers. The question is, what do we want to talk about, what do we want to say, what do we want to know?”

Brian May
ImageDr. Brian May at the STARMUS Festival

Astrophysicist, composer and guitaristDr. Brian May

“Pluto was discovered and named as a planet a while before I was born. At that time it was generally instinctively understood that a Planet was one of a family of roughly spherical objects that orbited the Sun (rather than orbiting something else). So, to me, Pluto is a classical PLANET. End of story. We can easily choose to make Pluto the outer edge of the classical planet zone, in which case we’ll end up with 9 planets and an ever-increasing number of Kuiper Belt Objects great and small, as they were discovered. Anybody like my definition ? It would have saved a lot of trouble 10 years ago !!” (Posting auf Instagram: @brianmayforreal)

Tetje Mierendorf
ImageTetje Mierendorf (c) Tanja Hall

Actor, TV host and voice-over artistTetje Mierendorf

"I'm in favor of classifying Pluto as a planet. Clearly I learned this as a child, so why should that change. And besides: If the argument really is that Pluto didn't keep his surroundings clean - I mean, what should I tell my daughter? She never has a tidy room and she is still human! So: Pluto for Planet!"

Rolf Zuckowski
ImageRolf Zuckowski (c) Tine Acke

Author, musician, singer, producerRolf Zuckowski

I don't have much astronomical competence, but I am a friend of the stars and of fascinating celestial phenomena. That is why I have devoted many songs to them with admiration and humility, especially for children. The fact that Pluto should no longer be a planet not only surprised me in 2006 but also disappointed me, because Pluto formed  the finale of my first epigram about our starry sky, which I learned as a child. „Mein Vater erklärt mir unsere neun Planeten“ (in German). For children, the love for the heavenly phenomena, the curiosity and the respect for the creation often begin with a linguistic and musical approach. For me, none of the new versions of the epigram can compensate for the loss of Pluto.”