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Pluto Loses Planet Status


Angel15

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Posted
  • Location: Shrewsbury
  • Location: Shrewsbury

It will be interesting to see in future how the general public, and education material, reacts to this decision- will Pluto be all but forgotten in due course, or will people still go round thinking of the 9 planets?

I admit it'll take some time for me to stop thinking of it as a planet, if indeed I ever do.

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Posted
  • Location: Kent
  • Location: Kent
think of all those poor astrologers...pluto is an infuence in peoples horoscopes

and the Walt Disney film in which Pluto is mentioned and Pluto the dog appears - they will have to change that or not show it again!! :p

I have to admit that I will still think of it as a planet in any event.

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Posted
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
  • Location: Upper Tweeddale, Scottish Borders 240m ASL
Forgot that, for us Scorpios it's our "ruling planet" :p

Oh, bugger! What will we do now? :p

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Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand
IAU Resolution: Definition of a Planet in the Solar System

Contemporary observations are changing our understanding of planetary systems, and it is important that our nomenclature for objects reflect our current understanding. This applies, in particular, to the designation 'planets'. The word 'planet' originally described 'wanderers' that were known only as moving lights in the sky. Recent discoveries lead us to create a new definition, which we can make using currently available scientific information.

RESOLUTION 5A

The IAU therefore resolves that "planets" and other bodies in our Solar System be defined into three distinct categories in the following way:

(1) A "planet"1 is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, ( :p has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and © has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

(2) A "dwarf planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, ( :p has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape2 , © has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite.

(3) All other objects3 except satellites orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as "Small Solar-System Bodies".

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1The eight planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

2An IAU process will be established to assign borderline objects into either dwarf planet and other categories.

3These currently include most of the Solar System asteroids, most Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), comets, and other small bodies.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

IAU Resolution: Pluto

RESOLUTION 6A

The IAU further resolves:

Pluto is a "dwarf planet" by the above definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-Neptunian objects.1

Yay!!!!!

As for astrology - the planetary status of pluto has actually skewed astrology - mainly because pluto is not and never has been a planet. It's merely another object in the solar system, and has been classified as a "dwarf planet" - a trans-neptunian object with no more status than a particularly large rock somewhere between earth and mars.

Finally, it gets the status it deserves :D

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Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand

True, but I dare say that "dwarf planet" status won't really mean all that much to most people once there are hundreds of them in the classification. Effectively, because a "dwarf planet" doesn't have to have cleared it's immediate area, any large and round lump of rock or ice in either the kuiper belt or the asteroid belt becomes a "dwarf planet" when they get around to sorting out that big library of such finds that kuiper belt objects are reported to :)

Plus it has the added bonus of Pluto being taken out of the school science textbooks - there are 8 planets not 9. It's official now :)

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Posted
  • Location: Canterbury, Kent
  • Location: Canterbury, Kent

So if Pluto is now a "dwarf planet" will the same apply for the "further out" celestrial bodies like Xena etc ... ?

WBSH

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Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand

Yes. The resolution indicates that it will set up a process by which the other kuiperbelt objects will be catagorised in line with the definition in due course. Currently, according to wiki, some scientists believe there may be as many as 800 such oobjects, and so it'll probably take a while.

The horizon program some time ago showed a library where all of these finds get reported. It was a fairly large library of finds to say the least.

The main question at the moment is over the status of Charon, as there doesn't seem to be a clear line between what a sattelite is, and what a binary system is. In my opinion, following the same logic as the resolution and previously proposed definition, in due course (whenever that will be), Pluto and Charon will be considered "binary dwarf planets".

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Posted
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level
  • Location: Bedworth, North Warwickshire 404ft above sea level

i wonder what's next.....? Mercury??? these people really mustn't have alot to do at the moment, lol! i think they should state whether a planet is so, or merely a 'rock in space', by sending an astronaut there and if he cannot see the curvature of the planet/rock by eye whilst standing on it's highest point, THEN it can be classified as a rock!!!! but until that day comes that a man can stand upon another world, judgement should be reserved.

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Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand

Erm, actually by that definition either Pluto should never have been a planet in the first place (no harm there - it shouldn't have), or EVERYthing in space should be considered a planet.

The fact is, Pluto is NOT a planet and never has been. There are very very significant differences between Pluto and all of the other 8 planets of the solar system. If it hadn't been for the fact that a decimal point was placed in the wrong place while calculating it's mass in 1930, Pluto would never have been a planet anyway. Since then, a whole host of other reasons have been uncovered as to why Pluto is not a planet.

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, by comparison, do qualify as planets in every realistic way concievable, and have no such notable differences.

These people have plenty to do, and they've just answered a very important question, coming to a decision only contraversial because American astronomers don't want to loose face and the rest of the world got excited at the original discovery of Pluto. It captured the public imagination in the same way that the idea of martians attacking did. Should we therefor record in the history books that not only is Pluto a planet that was discovered in 1930 (despite all the firm evidence to the contrary), but also that the martians did actutually attack earth and tried to wipe out the human race (despite evidence to the contrary)?

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Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

Dwarf planet, for Pluto fans about as welcome as the mini-tornado :)

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Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand

The difference is that "dwarf planet" is an official catagory of object in astronomy, as deemed by the sciences "regulating body". A mini-tornado is not an official meteorological term.

It's worth remembering that the entire astronomical community (IE, those who work in the SCIENCE of astronomy) have voted on this.

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Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

I see your point Crimsone, i wish people would not keep changing things like this, which we are used too. The minority that voted against the change, were probbably dissapointed, i certainly am. :)

Russ.

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Posted
  • Location: Norfolk
  • Location: Norfolk

Well, I am pleased anyway, it corrects a wrong-doing. Pluto can consider itself chastised for not being able to decide if it wants to be nearer to, or further from the Sun than Neptune.

At least now Ceres and all those other goodies out of Grotbags cavern won't get ideas above their station.

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Posted
  • Location: New Zealand
  • Location: New Zealand
Pluto can consider itself chastised for not being able to decide if it wants to be nearer to, or further from the Sun than Neptune.

Can we also chastise it for not wanting to leave its neighborhood, and for opting to be an individual and follow it's own little oddball orbit within it's "hood", that actually is nothing at all like the orbits of the rest of the solar system :) (can you really call it an orbit if it's really more of a beaded bracelet around the solar system?)

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Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

Pluto is a word that belongs to us all, and were we all asked? :nonono:

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Posted
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight
  • Weather Preferences: Snow, Storm, anything loud and dramatic.
  • Location: Western Isle of Wight

Thinking about it a bit. Havent we always called Pluto the dwarf planet? I mean from school, thats what I remember it called :nonono:

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