Neil Degrasse Tyson explains this whole Pluto situation to Stephen Colbert
Pluto’s having a pretty good week. The dwarf planet formerly known simply as a planet got a very special visitor yesterday when NASA’s New Horizons Spacecraft finally made its way across the galaxy. It was a play-date ten years in the making, and the images that New Horizons sent back from its visit are breathtaking. However, not everyone celebrated this joyous achievement, because someone is still a little bit upset that Pluto’s not actually a planet anymore. Stephen Colbert, we feel you.
The former Colbert Show host and future Late Show host decided that now was the perfect time to debate Pluto’s planetary status. You see, for most of its life, Pluto held the coveted title of “planet” and got to sit at the big kids table with Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Then, back in 2006, it was decided that Pluto wasn’t a full-fledged planet, and was demoted down to a dwarf planet — still a planet, just no longer one of the Big
With this new information coming back from New Horizons, could Pluto regain its former glory? Time to enlist someone who knows the planets inside and out, and, is firmly against reinstating Pluto as a planet. Time for the Colbert vs. Neil deGrasse Tyson Pluto debate of the decade.
Broadcasting live from The Late Show’s brand new Mission Control (completely with Tang), the two guys are quick to cut right to the chase. Colbert is all for Planet Pluto, and Tyson is pro Dwarf Planet Pluto. Tyson’s main argument is that it’s just not big enough to be considered a real planet, and these new pictures and information would “be totally awesome if it was a much bigger place.” Tyson also goes on to explain that if we lived on Jupiter, we’d look at Earth and think, that’s a dwarf planet, so calling Pluto one isn’t a bad thing.
This is no short debate. The two discuss the matter for almost 15 minutes. While Tyson is able to rattle facts off the top of his head, Colbert does have to Google a few things, but there’s nothing wrong with that. And the debate gets intense. Yet, the two (mostly) remain on topic the whole time, discussing the solar system, which is amazing and also hilarious.
So the the final consensus? Agree to disagree. The whole video is a fascinating watch, so if you need this Pluto situation broken down even further for you, give it a watch. We’re still rooting for you Pluto, even if Tyson thinks you’re too small.
(Image via YouTube)