Is There a New Ninth Planet to Replace Pluto?

Discovered in 1930, Pluto has been known as a planet for over 80 years. But in 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ignited a firestorm when it reclassified Pluto to a dwarf planet.

A recent survey launched by Real Research, an online survey app, sought to gauge public opinion on this controversial decision and the possibility of a new ninth planet.

Here are the key findings of the survey report:

  • 61% accept Pluto’s reclassification to a dwarf planet, but 39% want Pluto to remain one.
  • 63% are aware of the search for a new ninth planet.
  • 66% believe the search is driven by the desire to replace Pluto.

Pluto’s Demotion

Pluto, once deemed as the ninth planet in our solar system, was reclassified as a dwarf planet by the IAU in 2006 following a redefinition of planetary criteria. The survey highlights that most (74.25%) of respondents were aware of Pluto’s reclassification.

The criteria set by the IAU for a celestial body to be considered a planet include orbiting a star directly, having sufficient mass to assume a nearly round shape, and clearing its orbit of other objects. While Pluto meets the first two criteria, it shares its orbit with other objects, leading to its reclassification.

Notably, 70.68% agree with the IAU’s criteria for defining a planet.

Pluto Fans Fight Back

However, the issue becomes more nuanced when applied to Pluto itself. While over 61% acknowledge the justification for Pluto’s reclassification to a dwarf planet, nearly 39% believe Pluto deserves to remain a planet.

Figure 1: Do you believe Pluto’s reclassification as a dwarf planet was justified?

This stance is further emphasized by the overwhelming (76.05%) belief in Pluto’s continued scientific significance.

The Search for the New Ninth Planet

Figure 2: Do you believe in the existence of a new ninth planet?

The survey also reveals public awareness (63.03%) of the ongoing search for the new ninth planet in our solar system, referred to as “Planet Nine” or “Planet X,” a hypothetical Neptune-sized planet with a distant, elongated orbit. Notably, 69.27% believe in its existence.

Is Planet Nine Just Us Missing Pluto?

Figure 3: Is the search for “Planet Nine” about needing a replacement for Pluto?

However, the survey uncovers an interesting perspective on the motivation behind the search. Over two-thirds (66.15%) believe the search for the new ninth planet is driven by a desire for a replacement for Pluto.


Survey TitleIs There a New Ninth Planet to Replace Pluto?
DurationMarch 16, 2024 – March 23, 2024
Number of Participants4,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.