Pluto: And then there were eight

Filed under
Sci/Tech

Pluto has just been demoted. The celestial body, long known as one of the nine planets of the solar system, will now be considered a "dwarf planet," the General Assembly of the 2006 International Astronomical Union ruled in a vote Thursday in Prague, Czech Republic.

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune will be defined as "classical planets."

The IAU said in a statement on Thursday that the definition for planet is now officially "a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (Cool has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape and (c) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."

Full Story.

Textbook makers grapple with Pluto demotion.

Stick to Computer Rants

As any high school physics student will tell you, CENTRIPETAL FORCE is what influences the orbital path.

MASS is completely INDEPENDENT of size or distance from the sun (or any other body in the universe).

The boundaries of the Universe has NOTHING to do with how far something is from our Sun.

I think it's safe to say that even on a bad day, an Astrophysicist has a better understanding of simple physics then you do.

The new planetary definition has nothing to do with physics and everything to do with nomenclature. As more and more orbiting bodies are found within our solar system, as well as in other star systems, the IAU wanted a more accurate way of defining what that body is. Since the original definitions predated Newton, I'd say it was about time to bring things up to date.

I feel sad for Pluto. I

I feel sad for Pluto. I think that they should keep Pluto as a planet if only for the more than 75 years of being known as one. They could easily correct its status by way of explanation in text books.It can be taught in schools that Pluto is not really a planet according to the new definition, but it will be kept in the list of 9 major planets. Then new discoveries can be placed in subgroups like "dawrf planets"and other terms they came up with. Or if they're going to remove Pluto, might as well use the term "plutonian objects"; sort of like a tribute.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.