For 76 years, Pluto was the beloved ninth planet. No one cared that it was the runt of the solar system, with a moon, Charon, half its size. No one minded that it had a tilted, eccentric orbit. Pluto was a weirdo, but it was our weirdo.
“Children identify with its smallness,” wrote science writer Dava Sobel in her 2005 book The Planets. “Adults relate to its inadequacy, its marginal existence as a misfit.”
When Pluto was excluded from the planetary display in 2000 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, children sent hate mail