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danielost

time to redefine or define some terms.

49 posts in this topic

Star-hot ball of gas and no planets.

Star system a star and planets.

Planets orbit a star.

Planetary system a planet and its moons. No moon then just call it a planet as in the planet venus. If moon call it planetary system as in earth system.

Moons orbit planets.

Moonlet orbits a moon. Non-known of in Sol-system.

Add a few if you wish thanks.

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Moonlet orbits a moon. Non-known of in Sol-system.

Uh...a moon isn't likely to have a moon (at least not for very long). A planet's strong gravitational force would eventually cause its moon to lose control of over any body orbiting it.

Just to add, this is because any sub-moon of the moon can't orbit indefinitely because of tides. I guess if there were moons without these tidal forces it could be possible...but I don't believe we've yet to find such a situation.

Edited by Lilly
addition

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This ...Astronomy 101

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Some of the moons in our solar system orbit their planet at or further the distance of earth from the sun. Moonlets could exist depending on the mass of the parent moon and planet. Either that or earth doesn't have a moon.

I understand we haven't found any.

But, there are two moons orbiting saturn which exchange orbits with each other, ever fourth earth year. Titan has a sister moon in its same orbit.

Edited by danielost

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I like Pluto's system. It has a moon (Charon) going around it, and I think three other moons going around the two of them.

I would like to suggest that Pluto/Charon is therefore really a "double planet.'

Of course Pluto is supposedly no longer a planet, unfortunately I think maybe that needs rethinking.

Edited by Frank Merton

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I thought a moonlet was just a small moon like some of the larger chunks that make up Saturn's rings as a dwarf planet is a small planet like Pluto

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I thought a moonlet was just a small moon like some of the larger chunks that make up Saturn's rings as a dwarf planet is a small planet like Pluto

Well you got moonlet right -- it is not a moon of a moon. Pluto is I guess a dwarf planet. The thing is, it is also a double planet in the sense that the Pluto/Charon system has moons.
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Well you got moonlet right -- it is not a moon of a moon. Pluto is I guess a dwarf planet. The thing is, it is also a double planet in the sense that the Pluto/Charon system has moons.

Yeah,as far as a moon orbiting a moon orbiting a planet, I'm not sure how that could work as they would all orbit a common center of mass. I hadn't thought of the Pluto/Charon system with orbiting moons like that before. What is Charon's mass in comparison to Pluto?

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Yeah,as far as a moon orbiting a moon orbiting a planet, I'm not sure how that could work as they would all orbit a common center of mass. I hadn't thought of the Pluto/Charon system with orbiting moons like that before. What is Charon's mass in comparison to Pluto?

I don't know exactly and can't at the moment look it up as I gotta go with the family shopping in a few minutes. I remember that it was roughly the same proportion as the earth to the moon, although of course the earth is bigger. It's the unique configuration of the other orbits that I like,

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Given the choice between the definitions for solar system objects which the IAU (a committee of astronomers who are experts in the field) came up with or those that danielost (someone who, with all due respect, has demonstrated repeatedly that he is not an expert in the field) I know which I would choose.

Of course there is no choice to make, the IAY's definitions are official, whatever any of the rest of think is irrelevant, only the IAU can change these definitions.

The IAU's definitions are not perfect, but that is not easy. Celestial objects do not fall into nice little categories as was once believed. Brown dwarfs sit between stars and planets. A cool brown dwarf can be indistinguishable from a warm planet. Some asteroids seem more like comets. Large asteroids and small planets can be indistinguishable.

It is not possible to put these objects into nice pigeon holes any more and so any definitions are going to be problematic. The IAU definitions are the best we have at the moment. They are at least based on logic. That logic eliminated Pluto as a planet and people don't like it, but the alternative was a solar system with hundreds of planets. There can not be any going back to the old nine planet solar system. We can choose a definition of planet that gives us 8 or one that gives us hundreds. I think the one they choose made more sense.

Let's look at danielosts definitions one by one:

Star-hot ball of gas and no planets.

The most obvious thing here is that according to danielost the Sun is no longer a star as it has no planets. That is illogical nonsense. It's like redefining women to be female humans that haven't got children.

A star is a star regardless of the number of planets it has.

Hot ball of gas? How hot?

Rogue planets are now known to exists, planets which do not orbit a star. These are mostly giant planets, more massive than Jupiter. Now the thing with gas giant planets is that the give out more heat than they receive, they are hot balls of gas. Under danielost's definition these are now stars, which is clearly nonsense.

Given the total failure of the first definition to make any sense I don't hold out any hope for the rest bit I'll give it a go.

Star system a star and planets.

Given that the Sun is not a star any more we know have to refer to it as "a star System"? This definition coupled with the first means that we have no term to describe objects like the Sun independently. To return to my analogy above, having redefined women to be only those adult female humans without children we are now defining mothers as "family units". Clearly they are not, the are still women but women that are part of a family.

To have different definitions for two stars of the same type depending on the number of planets that orbit them is nonsensical.

To further cause confusion danielost has chosen a name "star system" that already has a definition and is quite different to his. A star system is a system of stars (see how logically it starts) which are associated as a result of the Laws of Nature. Hence the Alpha Centauri system, which consists of three stars bound together by gravity is a star system. They constitution a star system regardless of whether any of the stars in the system have planets.

What danielost is describing is a planetary system, a series of planetary objects orbiting on or more stars. They are also know, not surprisingly, as solar systems.

Planets orbit a star.

So do comets do comets and asteroids. This definition makes no allowances for that. danielost may have just returned Pluto to planetary status but he has elevated every asteroid, comet, Kuiper belt object and Oort cloud object to planetary status too. We no longer have 8 planets we have literally millions. The entire reason that the term planet was redefined by the IAU in the first place was so that we didn't have the untenable situation of having to consider thousands of objects as planets. This definition makes the problem many orders of magnitude worse.

Planetary system a planet and its moons. No moon then just call it a planet as in the planet venus. If moon call it planetary system as in earth system.

This has the same problem as the first definition. We are now to define planets differently depending on whether they have moons or not.

There is another problem with this. It is quite possible for asteroids to enter temporary orbits around a planet before returning to solar orbit. Now as danielost has redefined an asteroid (however small) as a planet we would have a situation where we have 2 planets one day, no planets but a planetary system the next and then 2 planets again a few weeks later.

Also planetary system already has a meaning (see above).

Moons orbit planets.

Finally on we can agree on, although that's not surprising because it is the one danielost hasn't changed.

Moonlet orbits a moon. Non-known of in Sol-system.

An object which really needs no definition as such orbits are unstable (see Lilly's explanation above). Such objects are temporary, they have several possible out comes, they either crash into the moon they are orbiting, get captured by the planet the moon is orbiting or get ejected to orbit the star that the planet is orbiting (sorry it's not a star any more is it? It's got planets).

I understand what danielost is trying to do here. The definitions we have are far from perfect and are becoming increasingly complex. That danielost is trying to simplify the definitions is admirable but doomed to failure. He has looked into the muddy waters but has, unfortunately, added more mud.

The more we look at the universe the more complex it becomes. Trying to shoehorn objects into tight definitions is no longer an option. The reality is that there is smooth progression from asteroid/comet to dwarf planet, dwarf planet to planet, planet to brown dwarf and brown dwarf to true star. The IAU definitions are a compromise. They are problematic in as much as, for the time being, the definitions of small bodies/planets apply ONLY to our solar system. There will need to be further re-defining of these objects but that is likely to lead to more complex definitions not simpler ones.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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Yeah,as far as a moon orbiting a moon orbiting a planet, I'm not sure how that could work as they would all orbit a common center of mass. I hadn't thought of the Pluto/Charon system with orbiting moons like that before. What is Charon's mass in comparison to Pluto?

Technically all objects orbit a common centre of mass, it's known as the barycentre. If you can imagine 2 weights on a stick the barycentre would be the point that the two weights balanced. If on of the objects is considerably more massive than the other then the barycentre will lie inside the larger object, as is the case in most satellites orbiting their planet or planets orbiting their stars.

(As an off topic aside: the fact that objects orbit a common barycentre means that the barycentre of a star planet does not coincide exactly with the centre of a stars mass. The result is that as a planet orbits a star it causes it to wobble a little. If the planet is massive enough we can detect tat wobble on Earth by measuring the Doppler shift in the light of the star and discover the existence of the planet. This is indeed how many exoplanets have been discovered).

Charon has around 11.65% of the mass of Pluto, but the important thing is, where does the barycentre lie? The answer is that it lies ABOVE the surface of Pluto (i.e not in side either object). The IAU are likely to address this issue at a future meeting as many feel that Charon should no longer be considered a satellite of Pluto and should be a dwarf planet in its own right.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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I think it is worth mentioning that one of the more radical suggestions rejected by the IAU meeting (if it actual got that far) that decided the current definition of planets was to get rid of the term "planet" altogether. Instead we would have had (if my memory serves me well) Gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn), Ice giants (Uranus, Neptune) and Terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars).

To be honest I can't remember where Pluto fitted in to this scheme.

I suspect that this idea is far too radical to be accepted any time soon, but, in my opinion, is not entirely without merit. Jupiter and the Earth are quite obviously very different types of object yet the term "planet" groups them together. A solar system with no "planets" but objects classified by type would be logical.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typos, typos, everywhere.

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Usually nowadays Pluto is classified with others of its group way, way out there. In fact I'm not even sure Pluto is the largest.

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Usually nowadays Pluto is classified with others of its group way, way out there. In fact I'm not even sure Pluto is the largest.

It's certainly not the most massive. Eris has a mass 27% greater than Pluto. It may have a larger diameter too. Pluto and Eris have very similar diameters, but the measurements are not quite precise enough to be definitive as to which is larger. Pluto's mean radius is given as 1153 ± 10 km whilst Eris' is given as 1163 ± 6 km.

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The only true definetion the iau has co

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One more thing dwarf, these terms are used by nasa in the why I am suggesting, except moonlet.

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One more thing dwarf, these terms are used by nasa in the why I am suggesting, except moonlet.

Really? I will ask you to back that up once the US government shut down is over.

Not that it truly matters. Even if you are correct NASA do not define such terms, the IAU does.

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I was curious after reading this thread. So, I did some investigating and found:

"The International Astronomical Union or IAU (Union astronomique internationale or UAI, in French) is a collection of professional astronomers, at the Ph.D. level and beyond, active in professional research and education in astronomy.[1] It acts as the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies (stars, planets, asteroids, etc.) and any surface features on them.

The IAU is a member of the International Council for Science (ICSU). Its main objective is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU maintains friendly relations with organizations that include amateur astronomers in their membership. The IAU has its head office on the second floor of the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris in the 14th arrondissement of Paris.[2] Working groups include the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN), which maintains the astronomical naming conventions and planetary nomenclature for planetary bodies. The IAU is also responsible for the system of astronomical telegrams which are produced and distributed on its behalf by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams. The Minor Planet Center (MPC), a clearinghouse for all non-planetary or non-moon bodies in the solar system, also operates under the IAU." [source: wikipedia]

And this may be helpful: [source: http://www.iau.org/public/faq/#q13]

" Q13: Is it correct to refer to a natural satellite around a planet other than the Earth as a “moon”?

A: It is perfectly acceptable to refer to natural satellites of other planets as "moons". However, the IAU formally recommends that only the Earth's natural satellite, the Moon, should start with a capital letter."

Our Moon is special! Yay! Not only do we have a moon, but we have the Moon. All our (Moon) base belong to us!

:tu:

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danielost, not all of NASA's pages are off line so I did some searching.

Here is a NASA definition of a planet and, whilst they give the limitations with the current IAU definition, they most certainly do not agree with your definition. The definition they DO give (at the bottom of the page) IS the IAU definition. http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/whatisaplanet.cfm'>http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/whatisaplanet.cfm

Not going well for you so far is it?

Here is another NASA's definition of a planet:

What is the definition of a planet?

It is difficult for scientists to have to define a word that everybody thought they already knew the meaning of. But discoveries such as Sedna, Quaoar, 2004 DW are blurring the line between planets, asteroids, and comets. These objects are all big, so what are they? We prefer to call them planetoids. To us, a planetoid is any round object in the solar system that is not big enough to be considered a planet (actually we don't know that any of these objects are round, but it is a reasonable assumption).

So what is a planet? We define a planet to be any body in the solar system that is more massive than the total mass of all of the other bodies in a similar orbit. For example, many asteroids cross the orbit of the Earth. Yet the Earth is more massive than all of those put together. Thus, the Earth is a planet. Ceres, the largest asteroid, is not greater in mass than the sum of the masses of the remaining asteroids. Hence, not a planet.

What about Pluto? Pluto sits squarely in the Kuiper belt, yet is not more massive than the total of the other Kuiper belt objects. Thus -- like Ceres -- Pluto is no planet, just the largest object in its class.

Again it agrees with the IAU definition of a planet (although not that of a dwarf planet, preferring planetoid instead). It does not agree with you (funny that).

Here is your definition of a star:

Star-hot ball of gas and no planets.

Here is NASA's

Stars

A star is a brilliantly glowing sphere of hot gas whose energy is produced by an internal nuclear fusion process. Stars are contained in galaxies.

(My emphasis).

Source: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Beyond&Display=OverviewLong'>http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Beyond&Display=OverviewLong

Note that this definition does not have the same problems yours does. It defines that a star must be undergoing nuclear fusion. Also notice that there is no mention of planets. None, nil, zip, nada.

So, despite your claims, so far NASA do not agree with your definitions of what constitutes either a star or a planet. Let's see if it gets any better for you.

Here is your definition of a planetary system:

Planetary system a planet and its moons.

Here is NASA using the term planetary system:

NASA's Kepler mission has discovered 11 new planetary systems hosting 26 confirmed planets. These discoveries nearly double the number of verified planets and triple the number of stars known to have more than one planet that transits, or passes in front of, the star.

Source: http://kepler.nasa.gov/news/nasakeplernews/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=182

Well what do you know, they mention stars and planets but no mention of moons. Well there couldn't be could there, we haven't discovered any exo-moons yet. Where have I seen that definition of planetary system before? Oh yes, I remember here:

What danielost is describing is a planetary system, a series of planetary objects orbiting one or more stars. They are also know, not surprisingly, as solar systems.

And just to show that NASA also use the term solar system in the way I have described:

A solar system refers to a star and all the objects that travel in orbit around it. Our solar system consists of the sun - our star - eight planets and their natural satellites (such as our moon); dwarf planets; asteroids and comets. Our solar system is located in an outward spiral of the Milky Way galaxy.

Source: http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/

Let's look at your definition for star system:

Star system a star and planets.

Compare that to what I said:

A star system is a system of stars (see how logically it starts) which are associated as a result of the Laws of Nature. Hence the Alpha Centauri system, which consists of three stars bound together by gravity is a star system. They constitution a star system regardless of whether any of the stars in the system have planets.

Now let's see how NASA uses the term:

The image on the preceding page was created to demonstrate that Alpha Centauri is not a star, but really a star system. Of the three stars in the system, the dimmest - called Proxima Centauri - is actually the nearest star to the Earth.

Source: http://heasarc.nasa.gov/docs/cosmic/nearest_star_info.html

So, apart from moon where your definition is correct and moonlet (which Lilly explained needs no definition as they are unlikely to exist for long) NASA agrees with none of your definitions.

When NASA sites are fully back on-line I expect you to either back up your claim that NASA agrees with you (which given the evidence I have posted here I sincerely doubt you will manage) or admit you are wrong.

How many times are you going to make incorrect statements and then claim that experts back you up whilst providing NO supporting evidence?

How many times are you going to post incorrect claims without spending a few minutes on Google and Wikipedia first? How much credibility do you think you have when you continuously post stuff that is simply untrue?

It's not rocket science danielost. A quick check of your facts first will save you from posting nonsense and me from having to correct it.

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.

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Wow.. there is some serious bad mojo in here.

Not coming back to this thread - it's way too pointlessly angry for me.

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Not coming back to this thread - it's way too pointlessly angry for me.

I'm sorry that you feel that way. There is, however, no anger from me. I admit there is frustration that has come about from having to deal with years of false claims and incorrect information posted by the same person over and over again.

I would also disagree with your use of the word pointless. When something is claimed as fact (in whatever subject) it should be capable of withstanding scrutiny. This is part of scientific method (and we are after all in the scientific section of the site).

Scientific method means that danielost's claim that NASA agrees with him is open to to attack. All I am doing is providing evidence for my case (something danielost should have done but didn't).

In science it is totally the responsibility of the person making the claim to support their case. Scientifically speaking if danielost can not provide evidence to back his claim then his claim fails. I am under no obligation to provide evidence that he is wrong, yet I have done so anyway.

My challenge to him is support his claim. That is not only a reasonable request, it is a scientific requirement. I am not angry I am just using scientific method in a scientific discussion. What could be more logical than that?

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Dwarf, I have only been wrong for years on one thing. When I figuared out I was wrong I said so. Your posts and links did not convence me.

Don't tell me you have never heard nasa spokes persons call jupiter and it's moons the jupiter system, or the saturn system. If you haven't you shouldn't be a mod. On this subject.

http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&redir_esc=&client=tablet-unknown&v=141255454&qsubts=&q=jupiter+system&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ei=-FRLUoSzI8SYrAH88IGACg&ved=0CCoQsAQ

As for the other terms when they talk about a star th use the stars name, as in sol.

When they talk about a star and its planets or in case of multiple stars they tend to use star system as in sol system. All I did was to extend that to the planets and their moons.

As I have said before, I am not one of your students nor do I work for you. If you don't like something I said skip the thread. DON'T call me a lier again. When I make a mistake I own up to it. When you make a mistake you thraten to ban the other person.

One last thing, don't you think that the sun is a bit more massive than any planet. So if planets and asteriods can have moons don't you think that under the right conditions moons could have moons too or is that way over your head.

One more thing the only official definations from the iau has to do with planets and dwarf planets. Everything else is along fuzzy lines. That is hiw we get one dwarf planet that is also considered an astriod due to its location in the astroid belt.

The only reason they split the dwarfs out of the other planets is because they didn't want school kids to have to know a list of twenty or more planet name.

But, we have already divided the planets into three catagories. Rockd, gas, and ice giants. Pluto and his friends are made up of mainly ice so we can call them ice planets.

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As for your other post. Maybe you should reread my title. We are finding so many planets orbiting other stars, that we need to redefine the terms slightly which is what I did. You don't like it because a high school drop out came up with the idea first.

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As for your other post. Maybe you should reread my title.

The title is about the only part of your post that makes any kind of sense

We are finding so many planets orbiting other stars, that we need to redefine the terms slightly which is what I did.

You did that. You did it very, VERY badly for the reasons I gave.

You don't like it because a high school drop out came up with the idea first.

I don't like it because it is nonsense.

Edited to add:

If you had read my original post you would have noticed that I actually said that what you were trying to achieve was a good thing:

I understand what danielost is trying to do here. The definitions we have are far from perfect and are becoming increasingly complex. That danielost is trying to simplify the definitions is admirable but doomed to failure.

In order to offer a solution it is important to understand the problem. Unfortunately you show no comprehension of what the problems with the current definitions actually are.

I have given logical reasons why your definitions are poor. I have produced evidence to show that your claim that NASA uses your terms is a totally untrue.

Do you have anything other than personal attacks to respond with?

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
added material. Changes in blue.

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I apologise for replying out of order, I saw your most recent post before the previous one.

Dwarf, I have only been wrong for years on one thing. When I figuared out I was wrong I said so. Your posts and links did not convence me.

So links to NASA sites showing beyond all doubt that NASA does not use the terms in the way you claim is NOT evidence that NASA does not use terms in the way you claim. Is that what you are saying?

Don't tell me you have never heard nasa spokes persons call jupiter and it's moons the jupiter system, or the saturn system.

Yes I have.

That is not, however your claim. Your claim is that NASA calls them "planetary systems".

"Planetary system" has a specific meaning. I have explained what it is and I have linked to NASA using the term planetary system. They do not use it in the way you claim they do.

If you haven't you shouldn't be a mod. On this subject.

And what exactly does this have to do with me being a moderator?

As for the other terms when they talk about a star th use the stars name, as in sol.

Yes they do, but again that was not one of your claims.

When they talk about a star and its planets or in case of multiple stars they tend to use star system as in sol system.

The term "star system" has nothing to do with planets. I have linked to how NASA uses that term and it is not how you claim.

All I did was to extend that to the planets and their moons.

And my point was that you were using already defined terms in a way that is not correct. I stand by that, the quotes from NASA sources I have provided back that up.

As I have said before, I am not one of your students nor do I work for you.

I have neither students nor employees.

If you don't like something I said skip the thread.

It's not about liking. It is about the fact that most of what you post in this section is wrong.

If you don't like your mistakes being corrected then research before you post and don't make mistakes. Google and Wikipedia could be your friends if you would just let them.

When I post, when I reply to you I check my facts first. That is how I can be certain that you are wrong. That is how I can provide links and sources showing that you are wrong.

You rely on what you think you know. Sadly what you think you know and what you actually know are not the same thing. This is why I repeatedly suggest that you check facts first.

Astronomy and space exploration are passions of mine. I get huge enjoyment out of them. I wish to share that enjoyment with others. I get no pleasure from arguing with you, or from repeatedly having to show that you are wrong, but I would not be true to myself if I allowed you to get away with posting stuff that is blatantly false.

DON'T call me a lier again. When I make a mistake I own up to it. When you make a mistake you thraten to ban the other person.

Please point out where I called you a liar. Please point out where I have threatened to ban someone for disagreeing with me.

What I have warned you for in the past is making false claims against me. You are doing so again.

You have repeatedly accused me of calling you stupid in the past, yet have never once been able to quote me doing so (for the simple reason that I never have called you stupid). Now you are accusing me of calling you a liar when I have not done so.

What I did say was:

I admit there is frustration that has come about from having to deal with years of false claims and incorrect information posted by the same person over and over again.

I do not believe you are a liar, I just know that you don't know what you are talking about.

One last thing, don't you think that the sun is a bit more massive than any planet. So if planets and asteriods can have moons don't you think that under the right conditions moons could have moons too or is that way over your head.

No danielost, it isn't over my head.

Firstly I did not say that such objects could not exist, only that they could not exist for long.

An object which really needs no definition as such orbits are unstable (see Lilly's explanation above). Such objects are temporary, they have several possible out comes, they either crash into the moon they are orbiting, get captured by the planet the moon is orbiting or get ejected to orbit the star that the planet is orbiting (sorry it's not a star any more is it? It's got planets).

I understood what Lilly was saying. I understand why such orbits are temporary. It is you that doesn't. I understand the concept of Hill Spheres. In fact I tried to explain it to you back in July (when trying to explain why Mercury was not likely to have a moon due to it's proximity to the Sun (HERE).

You don't have to take my word for it (or Lilly's). HERE is an article from Popular Science called "Could a Moon Have Moons?"

Here's what it concludes:

Even if astronomers spot a moon with a moon, it probably won't last long. "Tidal forces from the parent planet will tend, over time, to destabilize the orbit of the moon's moon, eventually pulling it out of orbit," says Webster Cash, a professor at the University of Colorado's Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy. "A moon's moon will tend to be a short-lived phenomenon."

One more thing the only official definations from the iau has to do with planets and dwarf planets. Everything else is along fuzzy lines.

Not entirely untrue. The problem is that until recently definitions weren't needed. It was obvious what was a planet, what was a star, an asteroid and a comet etc. Now with so many "halfway houses" between objects definitions have become difficult. This is why I understand waht you are trying to do and why (see the post above). The problem is that your definitions make things worse, not better. The solve none of the existing problems but generate brand new ones. I listed my objections in the first post I made. You have posted nothing to counter my arguments, you have just resorted to making unsubstantiated claims that NASA agrees with you... claims that I have countered with sourced quotes from NASA.

Continued below... (Too many quotes for a single post).

Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
typo.

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