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Sorry Pluto, You Still Aren't a Planet

MULTIZ321

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Sorry Pluto, You Still Aren't a Planet - by Maya Wei-Haas/ Science/ SmithsonianMag.com

"A new test for planetary status leaves the diminutive world and its dwarf planet kin out of the family portrait.

When Pluto was voted out of the planetary family in 2006, textbooks were rewritten, solar system models were remade—and the public was outraged.

Plenty of astronomers also disputed the decision, and the icy world still generates heated debate. Now, one astronomer has come up with a simple test to determine planetary status based on quantifiable factors. While a recent NASA flyby has shown Pluto to be a dynamic, complicated place, the new test agrees with the 2006 ruling: Pluto is still not a planet.


There wasn’t really an official definition of a planet until scientists in 2005 discovered a rocky body that at the time appeared to be larger than Pluto, now called Eris, zipping around the Kuiper belt, a reservoir of icy bodies past the orbit of Neptune. Questions flew about Eris’ status, especially since a growing body of evidence suggested that granting it the coveted classification could mean dozens of potential future additions to the planetary lineup.

“There are over 100 objects like Pluto [in the solar system], so we’re not going to have the schoolchildren of the world memorize over 100 planets,” says Jay Pasachoff, director of Hopkins Observatory at Williams College..."


pluto_charon.jpg__800x600_q85_crop.jpg

This composite image features Pluto and its largest moon Charon in enhanced color. (NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute)


Richard
 

falmouth3

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I was just at the Boston Science Museum's planetarium yesterday. We received the same explanation. Many of the older audience members weren't buying it. :D
 

Beaglemom3

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It has really messed up my planet mnemonic. My very educated Mother just served us nice pickles.


Saw this and had to laugh. It references the New Horizons Spacecraft which passed by Pluto last July.





-
 

"Roger"

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Yes, Virginia. There is a planet named Pluto.
 

WinniWoman

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This really messes up my astrology.:confused:
 

Luanne

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To me, Pluto will always be a planet.
 
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