You may not care what Keith Richards or Jimmy Page think about Pluto's status as a dwarf planet, but when Queen guitarist Brian May talks about it, it's worth listening to.
May, who earned his Ph.D. in astrophysics in 2007, published his thoughts on Pluto late on Instagram Wednesday after learning how NASA administrator still considers Jim Bridenstine Pluto to be a full-fledged planet .
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) tightened its definition of a planet in 2006 and downgraded Pluto to dwarf planetary status, triggering a ongoing debate that simply does not rest. May is on the side of the planet.
"Pluto was discovered a while before my birth and named as a planet," wrote May on Instagram. "At that time, it was generally understood instinctively that a planet belonged to a family of roughly spherical objects orbiting the sun (rather than orbiting something else)."
May said he saw Pluto as a "classic planet" and suggested we consider it the outer edge of a classic planetary zone.
May has been involved in the cosmos since graduating. He teamed with NASA's New Horizons team in 2015 after the spaceship made a flyby to Pluto and wrote a song for the spacecraft in 2018 as it approached space rock Ultima Thule.
"Let's hear it for Pluto – the ninth planet!" May wrote. The IAU, which is responsible for dealing with these things, does not agree.
May's comments will not bring Pluto back into the entire planet's zone, but they illustrate the divide among scientists regarding this cosmic hot-button issue.