Has everyone heard? Because scientists could not decide if these other planets that they have discovered were actually planets, they’ve decided that it was smarter to simply declassify Pluto (which would have hinged their decision from making the galaxy a nine planet to a fifteen one system) from planet to a rock, meaning now according to scientists, we are living in an eight planet solar system not a nine one.
Quite honestly i think this is stupid, but what about the rest of you?
This planetary debate thing absolutely boggles my mind. As if there arn’t enough important issues on our collective plate, that we need to create one out of a fucking rock millions of miles away from any of us? Explain to me, please, exactly how the changing of the status of a chunk of ice that will NEVER affect your life in the very least is stupid, or something that people should waste their time debating?
cliffs: <i>why in gods name do people care</i> 8( Pluto is right up there with banning flag burning on the ‘important-o-meter’
I don’t mind the change at all. It was becoming more and more obvious that unless we put the bar up higher for what qualifies to as a planet, we’d have more planets than any mnemonic system could possibly handle.
It might not be a big deal for Pluto to have its name changed, but as we find more and more (and develop techniques for finding smaller and smaller) planets in other solar systems, it might be good to have a system to classify them by.
The word “planets” comes from the Greek for “wanderers.” The planets were originally the “stars” in the sky that appeared to move on their own against the background of more stationary objects. Since only five (I think it is) of our current plants are visibile to the naked eye (Merury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn), if you want to go with the original intention for the name not only Pluto, but Uranus and Neptune as well do not fit into the category.
From what I’ve heard of Pluto/Charon, the orbit is less of Charon going around Pluto and more of them going around each other. It’s similar to the “orbits” of binary stars rather than a much more one-sided orbit such as the earth and the moon.
And no, it’s not really important. However, the astronomers felt like having a little get together and throwing a big brouhaha just because. It’s not likte it was wasting resources really. It’s a bunch of astronomers; they can’t use their time to go out and cure cancer.
Actually, 984, they’re trying to some of that in the International Space Station.
Anyway, yeah, I’ve heard this a while back and I was wondering if somebody was going to make a thread on it. I may be wrong, I think Pluto’s weird orbit (when it comes in from of Neptune) also played a role in its classification. I find it interesting that they are now talking about making the largest asteriod in the asteroid belt and Xena planets.
They were thinking about naming them planets along with Pluto. The current definition of not clearing the neighborhood and whatnot should prohibit those various Kuiper Belt objects from being named planets.
I think that any satelite, natural that is, that rotates around the sun and has at least one natural satelite of its own, aka a moon, should deserve the title of planet. Who cares if we have even a million planets in the solar system, its not like going to take up resources from humanity because there are so many.
Charon’s and Pluto’s orbital center doesn’t lie within either body like most planet/moon combinations. They’re each orbitting around a dip in space.
And I’m glad you think having a moon is a prerequisite to being a planet. You just bumped Venus and Mercury off the list. Then there’s the question of which type of moon should count. Do we count just random asteroids which get caught in a planet’s orbit (Mars’ Phobos and Deimos) or do we limit the tile to only those satellites which are formed from, most likely, a giant impact?
hm good point about the Venus and Mercury, that might be a problem, perhaps but as they’re too close to the sun, I guess it would not matter, as we could not get close enough to get any resources from them.
I actually think they should have left well enough alone and left us a nine planet solar system. Or gather together and come up with an official declaration of what a planet is, but then we might have the distinction of them deciding Earth isn’t an actual planet.
That’s exactly what they did. They didn’t just come together and say Pluto is no longer a planet. They redefined the term planet in such a way that it bumped Pluto into a new dwarf planet category. They decided a planet, at least in our solar system, is a celestial body that is orbiting the sun, has enough mass to assume a relatively round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood (which has something to do with “escaping” nearby planetoids/asteroids/etc).
Well then if you stop to think about it, Jupiter could not be a planet as it really is not a rounded orb, the gasses around it gives it that impression. The actual planet is slightly less crooked than is Pluto, slightly more round, but not a complete circle as what we would have thought. Therefore Jupiter should bnot be a planet either.
I said relatively round, not a circle (sphere would be a better term). Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet not because of its shape but because it is clearly a Kuiper Belt object and hasn’t cleared the neighborhood.
Well that is an interesting theory especially when you consider that Planet X possibly one of the newer satelites we’ve discovered has from time to time taken Pluto’s place.
I just do not understand what’s wrong with keeping nine planets, or hundreds of planets.
I do want to say that anyone who claims a planet is one that can only allow life on it, would cancel out nearly all of the planets in our solar system, and add some of the moons around these planets as “planets”. I think Mars is the only other planet that COULD at one time support life.