Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

New Horizons spurs new calls to make Pluto a planet once again

Posted in Science on 21st Jul, 2015 12:48 AM by AlexMuller

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted to adopt a new definition of what makes a planet, and to demote Pluto to the status of dwarf planet. New data is streaming in from New Horizons showing that Pluto is a little larger than previously thought, and home to some remarkable geological features.

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the most prominent advocates for Pluto are scientists working on the New Horizons mission, which reached the closest point of its long-awaited Pluto fly-by on July 14.
"We are free to call it a planet right now," Philip Metzger, a planetary scientist on the New Horizons mission, told "Science is not decided by votes ... the planetary science community has never stopped calling bodies like Pluto 'planets'."
Indeed, science, like journalism, is not a democratic process, which tends to make it a little messy at times. But for the sake of standardization and communication, we all cut corners now and then by agreeing to imperfect definitions of concepts.
This lets us avoid constantly having to refer to things like Pluto in terms such as "an object possessing many traditional qualities ascribed to planets but also sporting more anomalous characteristics, like its sharing of an orbital centerpoint with its moon Charon and lying in a region of deep space occupied by trans-Neptunian objects likely originating from the nearby Kuiper Belt."
Pluto and its moon Charon compared with Earth
The real trouble for Pluto arguably started with the 2005 discovery of Eris. Eris is one of those aforementioned trans-Neptunian objects (things that orbit the sun from a point beyond Neptune, on average) that was thought to be significantly larger than Pluto.
If Pluto is a planet, then surely larger Eris must be a planet, and if things smaller than Eris like Pluto are planets, then there could literally be hundreds of trans-Neptunian objects deserving of being added to the family of planets.

Tags: PlutoNASANew Horizonsspacespace explorationplanet

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-07-21
Some new definitions are needed for planetesimal and smaller celestial bodies - whatever category Pluto is assigned to, new discoveries will be equally important....
1 Replies
Author: Guest
Posted: 2015-07-21
Yes, I would not focus attention on categorising Pluto but on all new exciting information about edges of solar system - New Horizon should be proud Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Software on 2018-05-26 01:48:47
    From Here to Human-Level AGI in Four Simple more
    Posted in Science on 2018-05-26 01:41:34
    Research Team Builds a Brain Model Neuron By more
    Posted in Hardware on 2018-05-24 04:45:19
    30% Efficiency Solar more
    Posted in Software on 2018-05-24 04:41:49
    Samsung plans AI research centers in Canada, UK more
    Posted in Science on 2018-05-24 04:38:06
    Every 3-5 years SpaceX is adding a decade lead more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me