The tally of planets in our solar system would jump instantly to a dozen under a highly controversial new definition proposed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
The proposal, which sources tell SPACE.com is gaining broad support, tries to plug a big gap in astronomy textbooks, which have never had a definition for the word "planet." It addresses discoveries of Pluto-sized worlds that have in recent years pitched astronomers into heated debates over terminology.
The asteroid Ceres, which is round, would be recast as a dwarf planet in the new scheme.
Pluto would remain a planet and its moon Charon would be reclassified as a planet. Both would be called "plutons," however, to distinguish them from the eight "classical" planets.
A far-out Pluto-sized object known as 2003 UB313 would also be called a pluton.
So, we've now got at least 12 planets. Maybe as many as 53. Pretty cool. I do have to point out at least one stupidity: They're making Ceres the sole member of a planet sub-class called "dwarf planets". Hookaaay, why not just call it an asteroid?! I remain confused. Whatev. Go science guys, it's your birthday!