Pluto’s ‘planet’ debate reignited by New Horizons flyby

Updated 11:03 AM EDT, Thu July 16, 2015

Story highlights

The New Horizon flyby of Pluto has inspired many to ask why the dwarf planet was demoted in the first place

Despite being larger than what scientists initially thought, size is not the only factor in classifying a planet

Social media users are hoping NASA will reconsider Pluto's planetary status

(CNN) —  

Pluto hasn’t gotten this much attention since the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified it as a dwarf planet in 2006.

But NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flyby has rejuvenated Pluto’s public image, and researchers are learning new things about the dwarf planet – such as the fact that it is actually larger than previously thought.

Fresh measurements from New Horizons found Pluto to be 1,473 miles in diameter, which is about the vertical length of the United States.

The new information and images coming from the New Horizons have prompted some on social media to question whether Pluto’s planetary downgrade should be reconsidered.