A few years ago, the Grand Council of the Great and Serious Men of Science assembled in their mountain lair and declared by fiat that Pluto was no longer a planet. The decree, which was read from a sheepskin scroll from atop Mount Gravitas, induced a deafening wail from middle school science teachers and rendered inaccurate my prize-winning 5th grade diorama of the solar system.
Now — because no dying embers of controversy should go unstoked no matter how boring the subject — the Grand Council of the Great and Serious Men of Science has decided that the appropriate category into which Pluto fits is that of the “plutoid.”
What is a plutoid, you ask? According to the Times, a plutoid is a “dwarf planet beyond the orbit of Neptune.”
Despite the specificity of the name, there is another planet that fits the description:
There is only one plutoid other than Pluto: Eris, the sphere of rock and ice formerly nicknamed Xena that is slightly larger than Pluto.
…And somewhere in New Jersey, a 14-year-old boy writes “eris” on the insole of his sneaker, next to “goffrey chaucer” and “aron burr kill alx hamilton dool.”
Not a Planet, but a Plutoid [New York Times]