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Dead Planets Society #5: The Return of Pluto

11 September 2023

About this episode

Join Leah and Chelsea as they belatedly mourn the loss of Pluto as a planet. Back in 2006, Pluto was demoted to “dwarf planet”, sparking widespread outrage… a decision the team is still determined to reverse.

Special guests are Kathryn Volk of the University of Arizona and Konstantin Batygin of the California Institute of Technology, who discuss several approaches to boosting Pluto’s status, from helping it pack on the pounds, to dragging it into the inner solar system, to sabotaging one of its neighbours…

Dead Planets Society is a podcast that takes outlandish ideas about how to tinker with the cosmos – from punching a hole in a planet to unifying the asteroid belt to destroying the sun – and subjects them to the laws of physics to see how they fare.

Your hosts are Leah Crane and Chelsea Whyte.

If you have a cosmic object you’d like to figure out how to destroy, email the team at It may just feature in a later episode… And if you just want to chat about this episode or wrecking the cosmos more generally, tweet @chelswhyte and @downhereonearth.