It seems the IAU is trying to make the public a little happier about demoting Pluto from planetary status. They have invented and adopted a new term to describe Pluto and its brethren, "Plutoids".

According to the new definition, plutoids are celestial bodies in orbit around the Sun at a distance greater than that of Neptune that have sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that they assume a hydrostatic equilibrium (near-spherical) shape, and that have not cleared the neighborhood around their orbit. The two known and named plutoids are Pluto and Eris. It is expected that more plutoids will be named as science progresses and new discoveries are made.

The saddest part of this news really affects Ceres, formerly an asteroid, a minor planet and now dwarf planet. Even though it is very similar to Pluto and Eris, it does not fit the definition of a plutoid because it is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Not only that, but since we don't believe any more Ceres sized objects exist inside the orbit of Neptune (presumably, we would have already discovered them) there are no plans to propose a new name for these type objects.

So, we have adopted a new term for objects we believe will be commonplace one day, but have no special term for the one and only dwarf planet that has survived billions of years in the asteroid belt. Poor Ceres. I guess no one takes you cereously...

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