In 2006, Pluto was dealt a serious blow. No, it wasn’t stuck by an asteroid or comet—it was far more grievous a wound than that. It was stripped of its title as a planet. That’s like taking away someone’s personhood. It’s like if someone went up to you and was like, "You know, from here on out you’re flora. You’re a plant. You love water and soil." It’s embarrassing like that. It’s embarrassing for Pluto.
Well, almost a decade after it lost its planethood, Pluto has made a miraculous recovery. The NASA New Horizons interplanetary space probe arrived at the icy non-planet and delivered startlingly clear pictures of the beautiful and frozen object, showing that titles are just that. You don’t have to be a planet to be awesome. You can just be you. You’re not a plant, you’re a person!
Congrats, Pluto. You’re our Winner of the Week, you crazy, crazy Kuiper Belt object.
Photos by NASA/APL/SwRI via Getty Images