Little Cara who is from Ireland dreams of becoming a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut one day and her recent plea has awed the stargazers. Six-year-old Cara O’Connor wrote a letter to the space agency urging to reclassify Pluto as a planet. Cara with the help of her teacher wrote to NASA, hoping to persuade the space agency to ‘make Pluto a planet again.’ Pluto was downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet in 2016 by the governing body of astronomy, the International Astronomical Union (IAU). And rightly, the decision has not gone well with Cara.
According to The Economic Times, Cara wrote, “I listened to a song and at the end of it the song said, “Bring Pluto Back” --- and I would really like that to happen.” The kid also talked about the Kuiper belt, which is a doughnut-shaped ring beyond Neptune where many dwarf planets are located. She further wrote, “I really think Pluto should be a main planet again like Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus & Neptune, because in one video I watched called ‘Let’s go meet the planets.’ Pluto was at the very end.” Reportedly, in a video she said that Pluto was put into trash can and was scared by the planet Earth. “This was really mean,” Cara wrote, “because no one or no planet or dwarf planets should be put in the trash can.”
But Cara’s appeal did not fall of as she received a response from James Green, Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, who praised her for her curiosity in Pluto. Green wrote, “I agree with you that Pluto is really cool – in fact, who would have believed that Pluto has a heart? …. It’s a fascinating world that appears to be constantly changing. To me, it’s not so much about Pluto is a dwarf planet or not; it’s that Pluto is a fascinating place that we need to continue to study.” He added, “I hope you will discover a new planet, and I trust that if you continue to do well in school we will see you at NASA one of these days.”
It was in 1930, that Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh. For many years, the astronomy savvies were taught that it was the ninth and most distant planet from the Sun. Then in 2016, it was demoted to a dwarf star. But Pluto continues to hold a special place in many hearts. And just like Cara, stargazing and moon landing is many little aspirants favourite bedtime stories.