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Is Pluto A Planet? (Merged Thread)


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#31    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 08:27 PM

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So there aren't any Plutons? hmm.gif


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So it has finally shrunken to 8...No plutons.


The term Pluton has been replaced by "dwarf planet", however, as Frogfish correctly says, dwarf planets will not be considered "real" planets.

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Hello, new to the board.  I too read the news this morning that Pluto is no longer being
Anyway, this news today kind of contradicts the new released about a week ago that Astronomers planed on boosting our solar system to 12 planets.  They also propose keeping Pluto in the club.  Guess not!


Welcome SOTU,

The news release from a week ago was the draft proposal of the  Planet Definition Committee of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). This proposal was rejected by the full IAU convention and the definition of a planet announced today was adopted instead.


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#32    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 08:37 PM

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Plus, Last year, the astronomers classified a 10th planet, called Quauar. They forgot to mention that today.


Quaoar was discovered in 2002 and was never designated a planet. The object you are referring to is 2003 UB313 (nick-named Xena). It is larger than Pluto and it was the discovery of this object that re-ignited a debate which had been going on in the astronomical community for several years. 2003 UB313 was never officialy designated a planet.

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#33    aquatus1

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 08:43 PM

I was sort of hoping that Pluto would get grandfathered in, just out of respect for the time it has spent as a planet.

At least we don't have a planet Xena with a moon Gabriel.


#34    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 09:02 PM

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At least we don't have a planet Xena with a moon Gabriel.


Ironically designating 2003 UB313 as a planet was one way of ensuring that it wasn't name Xena. The IAU (who make the rules for these things) would have ensured that convention was followed and 2003 UB313 would have got a name from mythology. If it had been designated an asteroid then the discoverers gat to name it (although it needs to meet the approval of the IAU). Now we have the new designation of "dwarf planet" I don't know who gets to name it.

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#35    Startraveler

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 10:41 PM

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Much-maligned Pluto doesn't make the grade under the new rules for a planet: "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."

Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's.


It sounds like they went with what amounts to a combination of the round definition and Steven Soter's orbital zones definition. Unfortunately it doesn't seem like the IAU's proposal had the quantitative component that Soter's idea did:

space.com

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Stern, in charge of the robotic probe on its way to Pluto, said the language of the resolution is flawed. It requires that a planet "has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit." But Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune all have asteroids as neighbors.

"It's patently clear that Earth's zone is not cleared," Stern told SPACE.com. "Jupiter has 50,000 trojan asteroids," which orbit in lockstep with the planet.

Stern called it "absurd" that only 424 astronomers were allowed to vote, out of some 10,000 professional astronomers around the globe.

"It won't stand," he said. "It's a farce."

Stern said astronomers are already circulating a petition that would try to overturn the IAU decision.

Owen Gingerich, historian and astronomer emeritus at Harvard who led the committee that proposed the initial definition, called the new definition "confusing and unfortunate" and said he was "not at all pleased" with the language about clearing the neighborhood.

Gingerich also did not like the term "dwarf" planet.

"I thought that it made a curious linguistic contradiction," Gingerich said in a telephone interview from Boston (where he could not vote). "A dwarf planet is not a planet. I thought that was very awkward."

Gingerich added: "In the future one would hope the IAU could do electronic balloting."



#36    Trotsky

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 12:54 AM

Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.

After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. The new definition of what is — and isn't — a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.


#37    Raptor

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 01:41 AM

It's a shame they reduced the number instead of extending and including the Plutons, it would've been funny to see the excuses astrologers came up with to try and cover their tracks...


#38    dani10

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:18 AM

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Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.

After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930. The new definition of what is — and isn't — a planet fills a centuries-old black hole for scientists who have labored since Copernicus without one.

So why is Pluto not considered a planet anymore?



#39    Jacked

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:27 AM

Just saw that on the news earlier tonight. I was completely confused because people were talking about there beign 13 planets and there being 8 planets. I made one of my friends wikipedia it. He read it outloud but no one understood it any further. hmm.gif


#40    frogfish

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 03:35 AM

If you look, Pluto is actually a Kuiper belt object...not a 'true' planet... The debate was whether to add these 'plutons' as planets (including the asteroid Ceres). Looks like they decided not to thumbsup.gif

Well, imagine the change in elementary schools...only 8 planets!

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#41    IronGhost

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 12:28 PM

Once was a planet called Pluto
It was everyone’s favorite, you know
But astronomers balked
They questioned Pluto’s bulk
And demoted it to who knows
what?

A dwarf planet?
A rogue asteroid?
A wayward ice ball?
A wandering moon?

But one thing’s for sure
To those who observe
If Pluto’s not a planet
It won’t be taken for granted
Oblivious out in space
To its earthly fall from grace



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#42    ivytheplant

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 01:36 AM

I still wish they'd take into account the historical significance of Pluto having been considered a planet for such a long time. Let it be an honorary planet or something.

Besides, in another hundred years they'll change it again.

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#43    Waspie_Dwarf

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 02:12 AM

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I still wish they'd take into account the historical significance of Pluto having been considered a planet for such a long time. Let it be an honorary planet or something.

Besides, in another hundred years they'll change it again.

I beg to differ. In a hundred years people will have forgotten that it as ever considered a planet. Who remembers now that for several decades at the start of the 19th century the first four asteroids were considered to be planets? The historical significance of Ceres has long been forgotten and very few outside of the astronomical community will have even heard of it.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf, 27 August 2006 - 02:13 AM.

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#44    magic-meercat

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 06:47 PM

The other day pluto officaly was no longer a planet.  I think it is really stupid.  Whats going to happen at schools, i mean they have all them posters and that was to remember the different planets.  soz about any spelling mistakes

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#45    m. Moe

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 06:49 PM

Um, Pluto hasn't been a planet for a while now.

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