Singapore Science Centre redesigns exhibits on Pluto after reclassification

Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : With Pluto being re-classified as a 'dwarf planet', the Singapore Science Centre is now busy at work to update their exhibits.

Staff at the centre also held a simple ceremony to mark Pluto's new status.

Redefining Pluto's status is not an event that will have much impact on everyday Singaporeans.

But taking Pluto off the celestial chart of planets does affect the way scientific information is presented to them.

With new information being put up, the old Pluto charts are expected to become collector's items.

"I was surprised that the scientists threw away their sentimentality for the planet Pluto and decided to go with something more rational," remarked Dr Chew Tuan Chiong, chief executive of Singapore Science Centre.

As textbooks are being rewritten, the Science Centre is also redesigning its section on Pluto.

Pluto now joins two other heavenly bodies, Ceres and Xena, in their own section of dwarf planets in the solar system.

The science centre says the new definition of Pluto is good for science in general, because it's generating interest.

"It also shows that it's important to allow science to take its course because nothing is certain. What is considered to be cast in stone, such as there being 9 planets or more, can suddenly be redefined. And even serious science can be subject to change," said Dr Chew.

With the solar system re-arranged, the science centre will continue its mission of education the public.

Its astronomy programmes such as the weekly observatory sessions and school visits will of course incorporate updated information on Pluto.

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