Get this straight, people: Pluto is a planet, just the way you were taught in school, assuming you went to school after 1930 when Pluto was discovered.

A revisionist school of astronomers had held that Pluto was a mere asteroid. Pluto is round; orbits the sun, though not often, once every 248 years; has a moon (discovered in 1978); and an atmosphere (discovered in 1988); it is a planet.And, thanks to the Hubble space telescope, we find Pluto is a very interesting planet with polar caps and an atmosphere that evaporates and freezes in mysterious patterns.

While Pluto is a relatively close 2.8 billion miles from Earth - it gets as far away as 4.6 billion miles - NASA hopes to launch a planetary probe for a closer look. The Pluto Express will take 10 or 12 years to get there. Stay tuned.

Pluto's status as a planet is now secure, but its namesake is not. While many know Pluto as the unforgiving Greek god of the underworld, as many, maybe more, probably believe the ninth member of our solar system is named after Mickey Mouse's dog.