Congratulations school kids: You might soon have to remember the names of a hundred planets.

Your science lessons are now invalid NASA scientists want to make the Moon a planet
news Solar System Monday, February 20, 2017 - 13:44

The Earth's moon should be upgraded to a planet in the solar system as it has all the features of one, leading scientists at NASA say.

A proposal prepared by Alan Stern, principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto, along with five colleagues, suggests that the current definition of planet is outdated, The Times reported.

And it’s not just the Moon's status that the scientists think should be redefined, but also Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede, and Saturn's satellites Titan and Enceladus. They want the currently-labelled satellites to be "upgraded as part of a modernisation of the entire solar system", the report states.

In fact, if the International Astronomical Union (IAU) accepts the scientists' proposal, the solar system could soon have 100 more planets. (All the best remembering the names, school kids!)

"In the mind of the public, the word 'planet' carries a significance lacking in other words used to describe planetary bodies… many members of the public assume that alleged 'non-planets' cease to be interesting enough to warrant scientific exploration," the team said in its manifesto, according to The Independent.

One of the changes they suggested is that celestial bodies do not specifically have to revolve around the Sun to be considered as planets.

Just recently, astronomers found 60 new planets along with a potential 54 more planets, and a "super-earth", boosting the chances of finding one that could support life. According to the researchers, at least a few of these worlds could be capable of supporting life, The Independent reported.  

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