Pluto Should Be Reclassified as a Planet, Experts Say

Megalith

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Experts at the University of Central Florida are contesting the International Astronomical Union’s decision to take away Pluto’s planet status in 2006 because it didn’t meet the prerequisite of being the largest gravitational force in its orbit. According to a study led by scientist Philip Metzger, there is only one publication from the last 200 years that even supports this method of classification. Metzger believes if a body is large enough that its gravity allows it to become spherical in shape, then it’s a planet.

"The IAU definition would say that the fundamental object of planetary science, the planet, is supposed to be a defined on the basis of a concept that nobody uses in their research," Metzger said. "And it would leave out the second-most complex, interesting planet in our solar system." "We now have a list of well over 100 recent examples of planetary scientists using the word planet in a way that violates the IAU definition, but they are doing it because it's functionally useful," he said. "It's a sloppy definition," Metzger said of the IAU's definition.
 

ir0nw0lf

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Dan_D

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I've thought this for awhile now. I don't agree with the "clearing the neighborhood" criteria being the basis to reclassify something as a dwarf planet. The term "dwarf" implies a difference in size but that's not the criteria that was used to change the status. Also, if we reclassify Pluto again then Ceres and Eris would probably need to be reclassified as well.
 
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James Robinson

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Re-classifying Pluto was like putting the color peach and making all the Presidents smile on the various US bills.... somebody wanted to be 'involved' in the process and make changes just so they can say they accomplished something... despite it being utterly unnecessary. I've always been in favor of the 'slap the taste outa yer face' law when someone makes a stupid suggestion... because we all know there ARE stupid questions, stupid answers, and even MORE stupid people.
 

Dan_D

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Memes aside, this guy is suggesting that there should be hundreds of planets in our planetary system, which is ridiculous.

Yeah, that doesn't seem reasonable. A lot of that crap isn't spherical or the objects are extremely small.

if its round its a planet? so all moons are now planets?

Some clearer definitions of what constitutes a planet should be used. Personally, I think size and shape should be two of these criteria. Right now shape is but not size. Whether or not something is a satellite of a larger world should also be part of that classification. Also keep in mind that not all moons are round. Mars' moons aren't spherical. Shape should be just one criteria but not a definitive one. Moons could be as large or larger than the Earth if it orbits an even larger world such as a gas giant. They could also be spherical. However, a planet in orbit of another world is clearly a satellite of that world and therefore a moon and not a planet.
 

AtomClock

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if its round its a planet? so all moons are now planets?

Yes, all moons are planets... Except those planes have the distinction of orbiting other planets hence the name moon. Unless it is a plutar then it is still a moon.
 

griff30

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Arbitrary rules from an arbitrary scientific union trying to make themselves look important and infallible.

History repeating itself.
 

gamerk2

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#MakeVestaAPlanetAgain

Same debate as taking Vesta and Juno's planetary designation again. No one will remember this debate in a few decades.
 

sfsuphysics

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Does Pluto orbit another object other than the sun?
Technically yes, it orbits about the center of mass of the system which while true that everything does, the CoM of the system is actually outside of Pluto's volume where as with every other planet it's within the volume. So at best call it a binary planet.
 

ChristianVirtual

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Alone to see Neil dGT to us again why Pluto is again a planet I vote for: reinstate the planetary status for Pluto.

If it on the same ecliptic level around the sun and is not part of a cluster (like those in the belts) and has smaller objects orbiting it -> planet

If there some 100 more then Kyle can get his own planet out there.
 

Jadawin

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That whole discussion is ridiculous.
Size doesn't matter - Atmosphere DOES!
Ah, so Mercury is no planet then?
Alone to see Neil dGT to us again why Pluto is again a planet I vote for: reinstate the planetary status for Pluto.

If it on the same ecliptic level around the sun and is not part of a cluster (like those in the belts) and has smaller objects orbiting it -> planet
.
So some Asteroids are planets now?
 

KazeoHin

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to further explain what the person above stated. Most planets orbit the sun and their moons orbit them. Pluto and its moon both spin around a point between them and that point is what orbits the sun.

Fun Fact, Jupiter is so massive its barycenter (The pivot point where it and the sun orbit with respect to each other) is actually 7% out of the sun's surface.
 

James Robinson

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What if it self-identifies as a star? Do we have the right to impinge on the exploration of its newly embraced identity? I heard it also wants to be called 'chaz'
 

Dekoth-E-

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Make Pluto Planet Again..I should run for president in 2020 with this slogan. It would probably be successful.
 
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As a child who was obsessed with astronomy (and still am as an adult), I felt the same "awww" when Pluto was demoted. Still, the current updated definition of what constitutes a planet is reasonable and logical. The only reason to try and change it for Pluto's sake is for nostalgia reasons.
 
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