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Should Pluto be a Planet?

Posted by: Rob Goldsmith - Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:41 pm
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Should Pluto be a Planet? 

Should Pluto be a Planet?
Yes, Pluto should be a planet 27%  27%  [ 4 ]
No, Pluto should not officially be recognised as a planet 73%  73%  [ 11 ]
Total votes : 15

Should Pluto be a Planet? 
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Post Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Mon Oct 05, 2009 8:41 pm
Just reading the post located here:

Astronomy Question of the Week: Why is Pluto no longer a planet?

It seems some people think Pluto is still a planet.

Pluto is still a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. One reason the IAU definition makes no sense is it says dwarf planets are not planets at all! That is like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear...

Make your vote count guys :)

I don't think it should be, for the record :)

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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:35 pm
I think the reason why people still want Pluto to be a planet is the same one they keep grandmothers old, broken vase on the mantel. The sentimental value.

I don't think either.


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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:46 pm
I voted for yes for the lack of a better option in the poll.

I think it should be a "dwarf planet", but dwarf planets should still be considered (little) planets, not something entirely different (which they aren't), just as laurele has pointed out.

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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:55 pm
This whole debate about "What is a planet" is long overdue. From the three criteria voted on in 2006, it could be easily argued that virtually all of the large bodies in the solar system are not planets.

Why?

Well by the criteria upon which Pluto was not considered to be a true planet, the concept that it has not cleared its orbital path of all debris, so too would we have to exclude Earth due to the Aten, Amour, and Apollo asteroid belts.

Clearly, the same exclusion would hold for Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and dare I say it, all large bodies in the solar system, for they all have some recurrent interaction with asteroids, asteroid belts, and the like. This is all a matter of the age of our planetary disk, where there is still a lot of junk still out there at all distances from the sun, most of which will effectively remain for the life of our star.

What he need to consider is a paradigm shift in how we classify and teach these groupings, I currently teach a more refined, reductionist, approach, where we have: :twisted:

1) terrestrial planets, generally described as having a core and an outer crust.
2) a rocky-metallic to rocky distribution of smaller bodies that range in size from dust to planetesimals.
3) a rocky-ice distribution of smaller bodies that range in size from dust to planetesimals, in a range far enough from their star to maintain their icy structure long term.
4) true gas giants, largely made up of lighter gasses, but in a distance range from their star that their gasses do not begin to behave as an ice.
5) the ice-gas giants, which further out from their star, at a distance where very low temperatures are needed to maintain the various gas proportions of the planet.

While this structure is largely built on observations of the solar system, it does hold up as a teaching paradigm because it allows for the flexibility of new observation and hence new classifications based on good testable science, not upon a "vote" on very poorly defined criteria generated by some committee.


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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:41 pm
Let's do Star Trek!
Lets have an 'A' class planet, a 'B' class planet, etc. Except it should be in Hebrew, so there should be a א class planet, ב class planet, etc. One advantage of using hebrew is that the letters are also a number system, so there is no limit to the amount of classes you can have.

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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:29 pm
the professor teaching my planetary science seminar (jim bell, works on LRO now) thinks that all spherical bodies should be considered planets. so this would include pluto, earth's moon, the major jupiter moons, titan, triton, enceladus, etc. I tend to agree that that is a much more sensible definition than anything that requires orbit around the sun. However, i would propose an alternative that combines a spherical shape with a small eccentricity (more circular orbit). After all, pluto's major difference from the other planets is its high eccentricity even more so than the fact that it's in the kupier belt. after all, it does cross neptune's orbit as well. this may allow one of the farther out kupier belt objects to be a planet, and if so good for it.

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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Wed Oct 14, 2009 7:11 pm
Come on guys, don't be silly. Pluto is a dog, not a planet, and dogs shouldn't be planets. Although by that "anything spherical" definition, his nose qualifies...

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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:17 am
I think it should be classified as KBO, Kuiper Belt Object. L:ike similar ones, some larger, they are in a resonance with Neptune (Pluto at 2:3). This, small size, position in Solar System and involvement with Neptune are a sufficient set of characteristics to call such by the name KBO.


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Post Re: Should Pluto be a Planet?   Posted on: Thu Oct 15, 2009 7:44 am
What about a Kuiper belt planet? That would make everyone happy, right?

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